Sven Nys celebrates his eight overall win in the GVA trophy.

Sven Nys celebrates his eight overall win in the GVA trophy. ©Bart Hazen

In an exciting race today at Oostmalle, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) – who entered the race only separated by two points – gave us the fireworks we were hoping for as the two GvA leaders traded blows back and forth for the whole of the race. But for those two it was mostly in-fighting, as it was a well-timed move by Niels Albert (BKCP – Powerplus) with four laps to go that would see the Belgian National Jersey take the final race of the season, well ahead of the rest of the riders.

Ultimately, the overall GvA title came down not to the sprint that seemed inevitable as Nys and Pauwels entered the final lap along with eight others, but to a poorly timed pit by Pauwels, whose front tire had gone flat. The mechanical cost him valuable positions and gapped him off the leaders. Nys, once seeing that Pauwels was no longer glued to his wheel, passed Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) and emptied everything that was left in his tank. Only Stybar and Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team) were able to hang onto him. The clearly excited Nys, once sure that he had the overall title secured, allowed Stybar and Aernouts to contest the sprint and crossed the line with his hands raised.

“I was so focused that I had no idea that I was driving a flat,” Pauwels told “Once I realized that I had punctured, I knew it was over. I did not have good luck today.”

Stybar took the sprint, and with Pauwels finishing far down, in ninth place, also claimed second overall in the the GvA series, with 163 points to Pauwels’ 160. Albert’s effort today also put him into the standings, with the Belgium champion now claiming fourth overall.

“I told my team this week I wanted to win here in Oostmalle,” said Albert. “Yesterday I started the Valkenberg, but I said to my manager after two laps, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow.’ So for me today was like a championship and I wanted to win here, and I really did everything for it. Maybe even more than for the world championship. So I’m really happy.”

“For me it was like a victory like a national championship,” the Belgian champ continued. “My career really started here in 2005-2006. And in a couple of years riding here with the pros I won three times. So for me it was a nice victory and the beginning of some nice preparation for next winter. I saw Gerben De Knegt go on the attack on the road, so I went into second position and rode about half a lap in second behind Gerben. Then, just after the sand, I went to the front and I had six, seven, then ten seconds, and then could just keep on going for the victory.”

“It might be the first time this season that I’m as happy as I am today,” Nys told Cyclocross Magazine after the race. “It was really almost impossible to win this race because a whole team was racing against me. It was a tactical race and you could see that everybody was trying to help Pauwels win the GVA Trofee. So when you can do a race like this, always stay in the front when you must be in the front, cover the accelerations, and take the two points in the second lap – it’s really nervous, but I’m really happy with this victory (in the series).”

“It was really hard, especially for the mind,” he said. “On the last lap I thought, ‘Now I must do a full lap at a high speed,’ and the only guy who was in front of me was Stybar, and that was a little bit of a problem, because he was slowing down to see where Kevin was. That’s dangerous, so I used my elbow a bit to pass him, and that was the moment where I won the GVA. I’m really satisfied with the season and especially with this victory.”

“This was the best moment of the season,” Nys continued. “It’s special because it was the hardest race of the season for me mentally. Of course (there were other highlights): winning on the Koppenberg and Asper-Gavere, in my home in Baal, second at the world championships, and overall UCI ranking I’m first. I’m 34 and I’m not too old to win a lot of races, I have the most wins this season. So this was a special year, and of course when you win two overall rankings, you have to be happy. Now, I take a rest for three weeks; I’m going to the Maldives and we’re going to ski for five or six days in Austria, and then I’m going to prepare myself for mountain biking, qualify for the Olympics, and try to have a good cyclocross season again.”

“It was good,” said Jonathan Page, who finished 11th place. “It wasn’t great, but it was good. I had a fantastic start, but then I ended up going a little slower than (the leaders) did. I didn’t really blow up, I just took a couple of bad lines and made some little mistakes. And I couldn’t close the gap to the leaders — that would have been nice.”

“I was catching them in the woods, but I just wasn’t there,” he continued. “It’s my fault, I just had a couple of bobbles, nothing serious. But I can’t afford to bobble too many times. I’m glad (it’s the end of the season). I had a hell of a season, not a great one. I had some highlights, but I also had some real lowlights too. But I’m happy to be finished.”

The women’s elite race came down to a hard fought sprint between Sanne Cant (BKCP – Powerplus) and Daphny van Den Brand (,  with van Den Brand coming out on top. The two women had spent most of the day with Helen Wyman (Kona) and Hanka Kupfernagel (Stevens), who followed a few seconds behind in third and fourth, respectively. “It wasn’t just the finish that was hard,” said van Den Brand, “but the other laps were also hard for me – on the first lap I was sitting in second, which was good, but the other laps I was in fourth or fifth and behind the other three. So I was riding the whole lap at my limit.”

“For a while I thought it was over today and maybe I could finish fourth or fifth,” she continued. “But then on the last two laps the gap was closing and I got back to the other girls. Then I thought, ‘ok, I have to be first or second through the sand,’ and I was second. Then in the big sand it was me and Sanne and I got a little gap and thought maybe it’s my day today. But Sanne came back and we had to sprint. It was a hard win. My legs were exploding but I was a little bit better than Sanne in the sprint so I’m very happy.”

“It was very hard,” said Cant. ”I suffered a lot when Hanka attacked. When it came down to a sprint I had to dig deep. I’m very happy.” Cant’s effort today was more than enough to secure her the overall GvA title, followed by van den Brand in second and Wyman in third.

“This year sandy races haven’t been so good for me,” said Helen Wyman, who came in third, five seconds off the leaders. “For some reason I haven’t cracked them. But today my motivation was purely for the GVA standings. The difference between second and third, for me, is like a month’s rent. So I tried to ride as tactical a race as possible. All I had to do was beat Daphny. But she beat me. Fair and square she beat me. I did everything I could. I was there and I know I was there, but I just wasn’t there at the end. I’ve had six wins this year, two in Belgium and one in Holland, which means a lot. So it’s seriously disappointing, but at the end of the day, I did everything I could.”

In the U23 race, Lars van der Haar repeated his performance from yesterday, taking the win ahead of Jim Aernouts.

Elite Men Photos:

Elite Women Photos:

U23 Photos:

Elite Men Results:

Pos Name Nat Points
1 Niels Albert (Bkcp – Powerplus) BEL 25.00
2 Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) CZE 22.00
3 Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant Offroad Team) BEL 19.00
4 Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) BEL 17.00
5 Bart Wellens (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) BEL 16.00
6 Rob Peeters (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) BEL 15.00
7 Gerben De Knegt (Avb – Cycling Team) NED 14.00
8 Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb – Revor) BEL 13.00
9 Kevin Pauwels (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) BEL 12.00
10 Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) BEL 11.00
11 Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) USA 10.00
12 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bkcp – Powerplus) BEL 9.00
13 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Style & Concept Cycling Team) BEL 8.00
14 Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb – Revor) BEL 7.00
15 Eddy Van Yzendoorn (Baboco – Revor Cycling Team) NED 6.00
16 Thijs Van Amerongen (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) NED 5.00
17 Marco Bianco (Sdc-Rogelli Cycling Team) ITA 4.00
18 Thijs Al (AA Drink) NED 3.00
19 Francis Mourey (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) FRA 2.00
20 Enrico Franzoi (Bkcp – Powerplus) ITA 1.00
21 Martin Zlamalik (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) CZE 0.00
22 Mariusz Gil (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) POL 0.00
23 Ben Berden (Champion System) BEL 0.00
24 Christian Heule (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) SWI 0.00
25 Kevin Cant (Landbouwkrediet) BEL 0.00
26 Ian Field (Stevens Racing Team) GBR 0.00
27 Philipp Walsleben (Flemish Cycling Projects) GER 0.00
28 Bart Verschueren (Bkcp – Powerplus) BEL 0.00
29 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) NED 0.00
30 Mitchell Huenders (Sunweb – Revor) NED 0.00
31 Petr Dlask (Van Goethem – Prorace) CZE 0.00
32 Patrick Gaudy (Bkcp – Powerplus) BEL 0.00
33 Robert Gavenda (Landbouwkrediet) SVK 0.00
34 Mike Thielemans (Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team) BEL 0.00
35 Tim Van Nuffel (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) BEL 0.00
36 Stijn Huys (Bkcp – Powerplus) BEL 0.00
37 Bart Hofman BEL 0.00
38 Joachim Parbo (Bkcp – Powerplus) DEN 0.00
39 Jan Verstraeten (Kdl Cycling Team) BEL 0.00
40 Gianni Denolf (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) BEL 0.00

Women Elite Results:

Pos Name Nat Result Points
1 Daphny Van Den Brand ( NED 38’30” 25.00
2 Sanne Cant (Bkcp – Powerplus) BEL 22.00
3 Helen Wyman (Kona) GBR 0:05 19.00
4 Hanka Kupfernagel (Stevens) GER 17.00
5 Sanne Van Paassen (Brainwash) NED 0:16 16.00
6 Pavla Havlikova (Bkcp – Powerplus) CZE 1:17 15.00
7 Nikki Harris (Apb Cycling Team) GBR 1:30 14.00
8 Arenda Grimberg (Team Champion System-Lbs) NED 13.00
9 Joyce Vanderbeken (Style & Concept Cycling Team) BEL 1:41 12.00
10 Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn ( NED 2:03 11.00
11 Nicole De Bie-Leyten ( BEL 10.00
12 Nancy Bober (Baboco – Revor Cycling Team) BEL 9.00
13 Tessa Van Nieuwpoort (Stevens Racing) NED 8.00
14 Ellen Van Loy (Bob’s Red Mill p) NED 7.00
15 Karen Verhestraeten (Fischer-BMC) BEL 6.00
16 Lana Verberne NED 5.00
17 Gertie Willems BEL 4.00
18 Anja Geldhof (WV Eemland) BEL 3.00
19 Hilde Quintens (Benelux Team) BEL 2.00
20 Katrien Thijs BEL 1.00
21 Katrien Aerts BEL 0.00
22 Christine Vardaros (Merida Cycling) USA 0.00
23 Nele Van Maldeghem BEL 0.00
24 Laura Lepasalu EST 0.00
25 Caren Commissaris BEL 0.00
26 Madara Furmane LAT 0.00
27 Greete Steinburg EST 0.00
28 Sirje Lepik EST 0.00
29 Marijke De Pauw BEL 0.00
30 Valerie Boonen BEL 0.00
31 Sharon Defoor BEL 0.00
32 Maaike Lanssens BEL 0.00
33 Caitlyn La Haye BEL 0.00

U23 Results:

Pos Name Nat Points
1 Lars Van Der Haar NED 25.00
2 Jim Aernouts BEL 22.00
3 Tijmen Eising NED 19.00
4 Gianni Vermeersch BEL 17.00
5 Micki Van Empel NED 16.00
6 Joeri Adams (Rabo – Giant Offroad Team.) BEL 15.00
7 Wietse Bosmans BEL 14.00
8 David Van Der Poel NED 13.00
9 Jens Adams BEL 12.00
10 Stef Boden BEL 11.00
11 Twan Van Den Brand ( NED 10.00
12 Corné Van Kessel NED 9.00
13 Marcel Meisen GER 8.00
14 Vinnie Braet BEL 7.00
15 Matthieu Boulo FRA 6.00