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Van den Brand sprints to women's victory ahead of Cant

In what will be regarded as one of the most exciting women's cyclo-cross races of the season, Daphny van den Brand ( claimed the fifth and final round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy. The European champion won ahead of Sanne Cant (BKCP-Powerplus), who took the overall classification of the GvA Trophy. Helen Wyman (Kona) finished third.

Illness kept Van den Brand from participating in the world championships last month but she bounced back and managed to end her season on a high note with a hard-fought win on the sand course in Oostmalle.

“After all the misery from the last few weeks this is fantastic,” Van den Brand said.

Cant was disappointed to lose out on the win after racking up her first big international during the previous round in Lille.

“Somehow there were still lapped riders on the course and I was hindered when I had a small gap. I came very close so it's a pity not to win,” an emotional Cant said.

For a long time it didn't seem like Van den Brand would even finish on the podium on the military base in Malle. German champion Hanka Kupfernagel (Stevens) accelerated and only Cant and Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) were able to keep up. Wyman and Van den Brand were struggling to keep up with the pace set by the German champion.

Wyman explained that she didn't care about being dropped from the lead as she focused on her second place in the overall rankings.

“Daphny kept looking at me to do some work but my only goal today was finishing ahead of her to finish second in the overall rankings,” Wyman said. The two remained within a reasonable distance from the three leaders and after three laps all five riders got back together.

“Early on I felt good but when Hanka Kupfernagel accelerated I couldn't follow. For a couple of laps I was having a real hard time,” Van den Brand said.

The five leaders hit the last lap together and an exciting finale was about to unfold. Cant led the group through the first technical sections followed by Van Paasen, Wyman, Van den Brand and Kupfernagel. Van Paassen said she felt good but a corner in the sand section proved decisive.

“Sanne Cant always rode through the sand but suddenly she got stuck. I was on her wheel and couldn't avoid her. I lost my momentum. In the sand Wyman ran faster than me and out of fourth place SO I was in no position to win the race,” Van Paassen told Cyclingnews.

According to Wyman the same section took her out of contention too. “It wasn't a difficult corner but somehow it got messed up and the first two riders were gone,” Wyman told Cyclingnews.

Van den Brand and Cant sped away and battled for the victory. When Cant had a gap over Van den Brand that attempt was ended when she was hindered by riders who were somehow still in the race despite the 80 per cent rule.

“You'll never know how it could've ended but eventually Daphny and I were heading for a sprint and you never know how that's going to end,” Cant said.

The duo started a long sprint in which Cant had the upper hand at first but eventually it was Van den Brand who moved past.

“I don't know if you should call that a sprint. My legs were exploding and I thought I didn't have a chance but apparently we were both very tired. I'm very happy with this victory,” Van den Brand said.

Wyman came home in third place and lost €500 as she tumbles from second to third overall. Kupfernagel was fourth. Van Paassen didn't push on in the finale and finished fifth.

Full Results

Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daphny van den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.nl0:38:30
2Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
3Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona0:00:05
4Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Itera-Stevens
5Sanne van Paassen (Ned) BrainWash0:00:16
6Pavla Havlikova (Cze) APB Cycling Team0:01:17
7Nikki Harris (GBr) APB Cycling Team0:01:30
8Arenda Grimberg (Ned)
9Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)0:01:41
10Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) ZZPR.nl0:02:03
11Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) APB Cycling Team0:02:07
12Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team0:02:31
13Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)0:02:40
14Ellen Van Loy (Bel)0:04:08
15Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)0:04:12
16Lana Verberne (Ned)0:04:15
17Gertie Willems (Bel)0:04:47
18Anja Geldhof (Bel)0:05:01
19Hilde Quintens (Bel)0:05:20
20Katrien Thijs (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W.0:05:51
21Katrien Aerts (Bel)0:06:02
22Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team0:06:55
23Nele Van Maldeghem (Bel)0:07:10
-2lapsLaura Lepasalu (Est)
-2lapsCaren Commissaris (Bel)
-2lapsMadara Furmane (Lat)
-2lapsGreete Steinburg (Est)
-2lapsSirje Lepik (Est)
-2lapsMarijke De Pauw (Bel)
-2lapsValerie Boonen (Bel)
-3lapsSharon Defoor (Bel)
-3lapsMaaike Lanssens (Bel) WC De Molenspurters Meulebeke
-3lapsCaitlyn La Haye (Bel)

Elite women Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee Veldrijden standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus105pts
2Daphny van den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.nl94
3Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona91
4Sanne van Paassen (Ned) BrainWash76
5Pavla Havlikova (Cze) APB Cycling Team71
6Nikki Harris (GBr) APB Cycling Team67
7Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Itera-Stevens58
8Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) ZZPR.nl57
9Arenda Grimberg (Ned)52
10Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel)51
11Sophie de Boer (Ned) ZZPR.nl48
12Marianne Vos (Ned)47
13Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team41
14Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) BrainWash29
15Ellen Van Loy (Bel)26
16Nicole De Bie - Leyten (Bel) APB Cycling Team24
17Linda van Rijen (Ned)20
18Gabriella Day (GBr) The ChainStay-RENNER20
19Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Ned)20
20Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team13
21Susan Butler (USA) Hudz-Subaru10
22Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)10
23Martina Zwick (Ger)9
24Maureen Bruno Roy (USA) Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles8
25Jasmin Achermann (Swi) Fischer-BMC7
26Helena van Leijen (Ned)5
27Martina Mikulaskova (Cze)5
28Nathalie Nijns (Bel)5
29Hilde Quintens (Bel)5
30Anja Geldhof (Bel)5
31Lana Verberne (Ned)5
32Katrien Thijs (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W.4
33Gertie Willems (Bel)4
34Ilona Meter (Ned)2
35Nikoline Hansen (Den)1

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