Bart Wellens wins GVA Essen © Bart Hazen

Bart Wellens wins GVA Essen. © Bart Hazen

ESSEN, BELGIUM — Bart Wellens seized his first win of the 2011 Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee Series Saturday after a mechanical stopped Sven Nys on the final lap. Nys, the winner of last year’s race here, was leading the GP Rouwmoer until he was forced to abandon. Jonathan Page, arguably the top US racer in Europe this season, finished strong in 15th spot.

In the women’s GvA Trofee race at Essen, Marianne Vos stomped away from Sophie De Boer and Nikki Harris to take her first win of the women’s 2011 series. Mo Bruno Roy, the US-based racer who’s been tearing up the USGPs as well as New England races this season, took 10th place as the highest finishing American of the day.

Nys looked to be in command throughout the fourth round of the GvA Trofee on a very muddy course in Essen until a problem with his rear derailleur in an especially muddy section stopped him in his tracks. Nys checked his bike briefly and then left the course, allowing Wellens, who had been trailing a few seconds behind, to solo in for his biggest in years.

An overwhelmed Wellens told Sporza after the race that he had never imagined such a result.

“I have a lot of people I must thank; too many actually,” he said. “Teammates, training partners, the team, my family, everybody who continued to believe in me. Today I demonstrated that I’m still there.”

Wellens was always near the front in the race, beginning the early laps chasing Klaas Vantornout, who had stormed off to an early lead, while Nys and series overall leader Kevin Pauwels were caught in mid-pack traffic. Neils Albert joined Wellens in the chase, while Tom Meeusen led a larger group a few more seconds back.

Wellens and Albert quickly caught Vantornout and dispatched him from the front of the race, while Nys put in an amazing ride to nearly join them in the lead. Wellens punched it again to keep his old adversary off his wheel, gaining a five-second advantage over Nys with Albert in tow. By the beginning of lap four, Wellens jumped ahead of Albert, who had been caught and passed by Nys, who soon made contact with the leader to form a duo at the front.

That’s when last year’s winner of this race put in another attack, gaining six seconds on Wellens, who in turn held a six-second advantage over Albert. Nys was slicing through the mud over a long straight section when he suddenly dismounted his bike, fiddled with is derailleur before leaving the course in disgust. Wellens sailed by and held on for the win, while Albert followed for second in a battle with surging Rob Peeters. Pauwels crossed the line for fourth.

“I always had good feelings,” Wellens told Sporza after the race. “But when Nys went by me I had cramps. Suddenly he was just standing there though, and then I constantly thought ‘no accidents now, no accidents now.’”

Pauwels continues to lead the GVA Trofee series with 98 points heading into the fifth round. Stybar is second with 77 and Meeusen is third with 67.

Results after the galleries.

Elite Men by Bart Hazen:

Elite Women by Bart Hazen:

U23 by Bart Hazen:

RESULTS
GP Rouwmoer
Dec. 17

ELITE MEN

Place
Name/Team
Country
GvA Points Earned
 1   Bart Wellens (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team)  BEL  25.00 
 2   Niels Albert (Bkcp - Powerplus)  BEL  22.00 
 3   Rob Peeters (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team)  BEL  19.00 
 4   Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb - Revor)  BEL  17.00 
 5   Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team)  BEL  16.00 
 6   Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept Cycling Team)  BEL  15.00 
 7   Martin Zlamalik (Sunweb - Revor)  CZE  14.00 
 8   Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team)  BEL  13.00 
 9   Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team)  NED  12.00 
 10   Sven Vanthourenhout (Landbouwkrediet)  BEL  11.00 
 11   Thijs Van Amerongen (AA Cycling Team)  NED  10.00 
 12   Kenneth Van Compernolle (Style & Concept Cycling Team)  BEL  9.00 
 13   Mitchell Huenders (Ruiter Dakkapellen)  NED  8.00 
 14   Zdenek Stybar (Quickstep Cycling Team)  CZE  7.00 
 15   Jonathan Page (Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles)  USA  6.00 
 16   Joeri Adams (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team)  BEL  5.00 
 17   Dave De Cleyn (Scott Usa Cycling Team)  BEL  4.00 

ELITE WOMEN

Place
Name/team
Country
Time
1   Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit)  NED  00:42:17 
 2   Sophie De Boer (Young Telenet-Fidea)  NED  01:00 
 3   Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea)  GBR  01:22 
 4   Helen Wyman (Horizon Fitness Racing Team)  GBR  02:00 
 5   Daphny Van Den Brand (AA Cycling Team)  NED  02:33 
 6   Sanne Cant (Boxx Veldritacademie)  BEL  02:45 
 7   Gabriella Day (Awv De Zwaluwen)  GBR  03:06 
 8   Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Rtc Buitenlust)  NED  03:32 
 9   Joyce Vanderbeken (AA Drink - Leontien.nl)  BEL  05:24 
 10   Maureen Bruno Roy (Rtc Buitenlust)  USA  05:50 
 11   Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Dura Vermeer Cycling Team)  NED  06:02 
 12   Evy Kuijpers (Rtc Buitenlust)  NED  06:08 
 13   Christine Vardaros (Baboco - Revor Cycling Team)  USA  07:15 
 14   Githa Michiels  BEL  07:49 
 15   Monique Van De Ree  NED  08:14 
 16   Katrien Thijs (Awv De Zwaluwen)  BEL  s.t. 
 17   Lana Verberne (Rtc Buitenlust)  NED  08:27 
 18   Margriet Helena Kloppenburg (Grtc Excelsior)  DEN  10:53 
 19   Marijke De Pauw (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team)  BEL  11:25 

GVA TROPHEE OVERALL

MEN

Place
Name
Points
Wins
Podiums
1 Kevin Pauwels (BEL)  98  3  3  
 2 Zdenek Stybar (CZE)  76  0  3  
 3 Tom Meeusen (BEL)  67  0  0  
 4 Sven Nys (BEL)  62  0  2  
 5 Bart Aernouts (BEL)  59  0  0  
 6 Niels Albert (BEL)  59  0  2  
 7 Bart Wellens (BEL)  53  1  1  
 8 Klaas Vantornout (BEL)  46  0  0  
 9 Joeri Adams (BEL)  36  0  0  
 10 Jan Denuwelaere (BEL)  33  0  0  
 11 Rob Peeters (BEL)  33  0  1  
 12 Thijs Van Amerongen (NED)  33  0  0  
 13 Gerben De Knegt (NED)  31  0  0  
 14 Mariusz Gil (POL)  30  0  0  
 15 Sven Vanthourenhout (BEL)  30  0  0  
 16 Dieter Vanthourenhout (BEL)  25  0  0  
 17 Vincent Baestaens (BEL)  23  0  0  
 18 Kenneth Van Compernolle (BEL)  21  0  0  
 19 Thijs Al (NED)  14  0  0  
 20 Robert Gavenda (SVK)  14  0  0  
 21 Martin Zlamalik (CZE)  14  0  0  
 22 Marcel Meisen (GER)  13  0  0  
 23 Radomír Simunek Jr. (CZE)  13  0  0  
 24 Mitchell Huenders (NED)  12  0  0  
 25 Cedric Gaudy (BEL)  10  0  0  
 26 Jonathan Page (USA)  8  0  0  
 27 Jiri Polnicky (CZE)  8  0  0  
 28 Kevin Cant (BEL)  5  0  0  
 29 Tom Van Den Bosch (BEL)  5  0  0  
 30 Dave De Cleyn (BEL)  4  0  0  
 31 Patrick Gaudy (BEL)  4  0  0  
 32 Eddy Van Yzendoorn (NED)  4  0  0  
 33 Gianni Denolf (BEL)  3  0  0  
 34 Stijn Huys (BEL)  2  0  0  
 35 Sascha Weber (GER)  2  0  0  
 36 Simon Zahner (SWI)  2  0  0  
 37 Jim Aernouts (BEL)  1  0  0  
 38 Marco Bianco (ITA)  1  0  0  
 39 Thomas Vernaeckt (BEL)  1  0  0  

WOMEN

Place
Name/Country
Points
Wins
Podiums
1 Sanne Cant (BEL)  105  1  4  
 2 Daphny Van Den Brand (NED)  94  1  3  
 3 Helen Wyman (GBR)  91  1  2  
 4 Sanne Van Paassen (NED)  76  1  2  
 5 Pavla Havlikova (CZE)  71  0  0  
 6 Nikki Harris (GBR)  67  0  0  
 7 Hanka Kupfernagel (GER)  58  0  2  
 8 Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (NED)  57  0  0  
 9 Arenda Grimberg (NED)  52  0  0  
 10 Joyce Vanderbeken (BEL)  51  0  0  
 11 Sophie De Boer (NED)  48  0  0  
 12 Marianne Vos (NED)  47  1  2  
 13 Nancy Bober (BEL)  41  0  0  
 14 Sabrina Stultiens (NED)  29  0  0  
 15 Ellen Van Loy (BEL)  26  0  0  
 16 Nicole De Bie-Leyten (BEL)  24  0  0  
 17 Gabriella Day (GBR)  20  0  0  
 18 Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (NED)  20  0  0  
 19 Linda Van Rijen (NED)  20  0  0  
 20 Christine Vardaros (USA)  13  0  0  
 21 Susan Butler (USA)  10  0  0  
 22 Karen Verhestraeten (BEL)  10  0  0  
 23 Martina Zwick (GER)  9  0  0  
 24 Maureen Bruno Roy (USA)  8  0  0  
 25 Jasmin Achermann (SWI)  7  0  0  
 26 Anja Geldhof (BEL)  5  0  0  
 27 Martina Mikulaskova (CZE)  5  0  0  
 28 Nathalie Nijns (BEL)  5  0  0  
 29 Hilde Quintens (BEL)  5  0  0  
 30 Helena Van Leijen (NED)  5  0  0  
 31 Lana Verberne (NED)  5  0  0  
 32 Katrien Thijs (BEL)  4  0  0  
 33 Gertie Willems (BEL)  4  0  0  
 34 Ilona Meter (NED)  2  0  0  
 35 Nikoline Hansen (DEN)  1  0  0