The podium: Stybar, Meeusen and Pauwels. © Bart Hazen
by David Evans
LILLE, BELGIUM—Marianne Vos took the win in the fifth race in the GvA Trofee series, Krawatencross, today. She was followed by Daphny van den Brand and Sanne Cant, exactly the same podium as last Sunday’s World Championships. In the men’s race, Tom Meeusen took the win, followed by Zdenek Stybar and Kevin Pauwels.
Men: Tactics, Turns, and Misfires
Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) sprinted to the win. Northern Europe’s recent cold snap ensured a skittish race, at times resembling a criterium on ice. Despite holding second wheel, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) faded to fourth, with Zdenek Stybar (Quickstep) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) coming around him to complete the podium.
Meeusen had been part of a twelve strong breakaway that had formed after the capture of early leaders Dieter Vanthourenhout and Radomir Simunek (both BKCP-Powerplus). Simunek traded turns at the front with Meeusen and Sven Vanthourenhout (Landbouwkrediet). A crash by Simunek held up the nine supporting riders, stranding Meeusen and Vanthourenout off the front. The duo looked to make the most of their five second advantage over Stybar and thirteen seconds over a powerful group that included Nys, Pauwels and World Champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus).
Pauwels looked to defend his series lead, and built on an impressive lap and a half of power to capture Stybar. Meeusen and Vanthourenout must have gotten wind of Pauwels’ determined effort, as they sat up with three and a half laps to go.
A smart piece of teamwork by Landbouwkrediet allowed Vanthourenout to escape again. Both he and Nys moved to the front, Vanthourenout accelerated and Nys rode defensively. With two laps to go Albert started to chase the escapee, but without the imposing strength his compatriot Pauwels had shown previously. Only when Vanthourenout lost his wheel in a left hand turn could Albert close the gap.
The final lap saw an eight man leading group, nearly disintegrating under their own frenzied pace, ghost off the front of the race. Meeusen traded shoulders with Stybar, Nys, Albert and Pauwels as they dashed over a twisty run up. He led the sprint from the front as Nys’s early high cadence gave away that he was under-geared for the finale.
Speaking after the race, Meeusen joked “They call me the iceman because I tend to perform well on ice… As far as I’m concerned, this weather can last forever.”
When questioned about his underwhelming sprint, Sven Nys admitted “In the hectic manuevers ahead of the final sprint my chain must have dropped to the small ring. I didn’t realize and tried to shift up but that didn’t work out.”
Women: Vos Shows Off Her Crown
Shortly before the women’s race some local thermometers showed -15 degrees Celsius. This wasn’t sufficient to snuff the flames of the ever dominant Marianne Vos (Rabobank), who once again took a solo win. Vos and Daphny van den Brand (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) broke clear in the first lap, the rest of the race consisted of Saane Cant (Boxx Veldritacademie), Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) and Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) unsuccessfully trying to bridge up to the leading duo.
Vos wore down her companion, eventually leaving her behind in a technical section. Regular fans will know the rest of the story: Vos consolidated her advantage with a threshold effort until easing up in the final lap, crossing the line with 29 seconds to spare. Several of the riders were spotted finishing with ice collecting on their eyelashes.
Men’s Gallery by Bart Hazen:
Women’s Gallery by Bart Hazen:
Men’s Full Results:
|16||Twan VAN DEN BRAND||NED||23||1:02:57|
|17||Thijs VAN AMERONGEN||NED||26||1:02:57|
|19||Gerben DE KNEGT||NED||37||1:03:00|
|23||Tom VAN DEN BOSCH||BEL||27||1:04:17|
|25||Patrick VAN LEEUWEN||NED||27||1:04:18|
|28||Steven DE DECKER||BEL||30||1:04:31|
|35||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||BEL||24||1:05:31|
|38||Dave DE CLEYN||BEL||24||1:05:43|
|39||Eddy VAN IJZENDOORN||NED||27|
|40||Tim VAN NUFFEL||BEL||31|
Women’s Full Results:
|2||Daphny VAN DEN BRAND||NED||34||41:43:00||60||60|
|4||Sanne VAN PAASSEN||NED||24||42:56:00||30||30|
|10||Sophie DE BOER||NED||22||44:09:00||10||10|
|13||Nicole DE BIE - LEYTEN||BEL||37||44:32:00||4||4|
|24||Kim VAN DE STEENE||BEL||26||47:26:00|
|29||Caitlyn LA HAYE||BEL||19|