by Bart Hazen

Niels Albert (BKCP-PowerPlus) continued his undefeated season with a dominant performance at the the 2009-2010 Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee race in French-speaking Belgium at the Citadelle de Namur. And while the World Champ didn’t particularly love the course, he won on it anyway. Albert won for the fifth time in a row this season, and enjoyed a 42 second gap to a resurgent Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago).

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) had a strong ride, finishing 13th, after flying in the night before. Zdenek Štybar (Fidea) finished in third, two minutes back to complete a podium that featured the same three riders from the 2009 Worlds in Hoogerheide.

Page said the hill was very difficult, but was satisfied with his ride considering the circumstances. The slippery conditions and hilly course made for very technical riding causing even the best riders to crash:

Elite Men: How the Drama Unfolded

On the very tough course, according to insiders perhaps the toughest of all, Zdenek Stybar took the hole shot followed by Gerben de Knegt and Klaas Vantornout. In the first lap on the muddy, slippery and technical course Kevin Pauwels and Radomir Simunek crashed. In the meantime Stybar created a gap of ten seconds on Vantornout, Albert, De Knegt, Heule, Al and others.

Sven Nys who started in the back of the field due to his abandon in Treviso had a good start and was moving up. At the end of the first lap Nys moved up to seventh position at about 20 seconds from the lead.

Turning into the second lap, of eight laps in total, Albert and Vantornout bridged up to Stybar. Halfway through the second lap Albert took the lead and increased the pace to a speed the others just couldn’t handle. Albert also took the intermediate sprint at the end of the second lap and the belonging six extra points for the GVA ranking.

In the third lap Sven Nys moved up from seventh position to the chase group and by the end of the third lap Sven Nys got rid off Stybar and Vantornout in order to search for Albert. The difference between the two champions was 30 seconds.

Halfway through the race Albert led the race with a lead of 32 seconds on Nys, 1:05 on Stybar and Vantornout and 1:24 on Aernouts and Pauwels.  Behind De Knegt, Franzoi, D. Vanthourenhout, Jonathan Page, Erwin Vervecken, Christian Heule and Thijs Al were in a battle for the remaining top 10 spots.

In the sixth lap Nys took too much risks in one of the descent and crashed. Despite the crash he didn’t lost that much time as the difference with Albert stayed equal at the end of the lap. In the battle for third place Klaas Vantornout dropped with Stybar due to a crash on the stairs in the final part of the lap.

In the remaining two laps the situation didn’t changed and Niels Albert could take relatively easy his fifth win of the season out of five starts. For Albert it’s “Veni, Vidi, Vici” for the moment. Everywhere he starts he is the best for the moment. Sven Nys finished at a satisfactory second place after his poor start in the current season. Zdenek Stybar took another podium place to finish as third. Belgians Vantornout and Aernouts rounded off the top five. American Jonathan Page did quite well in his first European race of the season and finished as 13rd.

Tomorrow the scene continues in Ruddervoorde for round one of the Superprestige.

Men U23
Just as in Treviso the U23 race came down to a battle between Czech Lubomir Petrus and Slowakian Robert Gavenda. In Treviso it was Gavenda but this time it was Lubomir Petrus (BKCP-Powerplus) who took the victory flowers. Belgian Tom Meeusen completed the podium.

Belgian Champion Vincent Baestaens took the hole shot followed by Jan Denuwelaere, Tom Meeusen, Stef Boden and Jim Aernouts. Gavenda and Petrus had a cautious start but after a few laps they showed up in front and not much later both East Europeans went in the attack with only Meeusen trying to hang on.

In the final lap Petrus created a gap over Gavenda to take his first win of the season. With a similar race in Oudenaarde, the second race of the GVA, Petrus is confident to defend his lead in the ranking.

Daphny van den Brand (  set her sights on her third overall win in the GVA Trofee by winning the first race in Namur. Pavla Havlikova and Britain’s Helen Wyman completed the podium. Belgians Sanne Cant and Ludivine Henrion completed the top five. American Christine Vardaros finished as 17th for her new Zanatta-Champion Systems team.

The women’s race was already decided in an early stage. Van den Brand attacked very early and immediately created a solid gap on the champion of the Czech Republic Pavla Havlikova. In the remaining of the race Van den Brand didn’t made any mistakes and took her second win of the season after Harderwijk. American Christine Vardaros (Zannata-Champion System Team) finished on the lead lap in 17th.



1 Daphny van den Brand (Ned) 0:45:01
2 Pavla Havlikova (Cze) KC Kooperativa SG Jablonec 0:00:16
3 Helen Wyman (GBr) Vision 0:00:50
4 Sanne Cant (Bel) A.D.S. Selle Italia Guerciotti 0:01:35
5 Ludivine Henrion (Bel) 0:01:48
6 Linda van Rijen (Ned) 0:01:55
7 Saskia Elemans (Ned) Team Flexpoint 0:02:15
8 Sanne van Paassen (Ned) 0:03:10
9 Sophie De Boer (Ned) 0:03:50
10 Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) J&G Cycling Team 0:04:35
11 Sabrina Stultiens (Ned) 0:05:03
12 Arenda Grimberg (Ned) Team Ton Van Bemmelen Sports-Merida 0:05:23
13 Veerle Ingels (Bel) AVB – Cycling Team 0:06:20
14 Gabriella Day (GBr) Vision 0:06:25
15 Nancy Bober (Bel) Casa Verde Race Factory 0:06:55
16 Ellen van Loy (Bel) 0:09:05
17 Christine Vardaros (USA) 0:09:25
18 Katrien Vermeiren (Bel) Emversport International C. T. Vzw 0:10:30
19 Lana Verberne (Ned)
20 Nicolle De Bie-Leyten (Bel) AVB – Cycling Team
21 Kim Van Renterghem (Bel) Wsc Hand In Hand Baal
22 Sharon Defoor (Bel)
DNF Patsy Larno (Bel) Sport En Vermaak – Maarke-Kerkem


1 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP – Powerplus 1:05:15
2 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 0:00:42
3 Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 0:02:02
4 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob 0:02:22
5 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 0:02:50
6 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0:03:21
7 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team 0:03:45
8 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 0:03:52
9 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP – Powerplus 0:04:10
10 Radomír Šimunek (Cze) BKCP – Power Plus 0:04:20
11 Christian Heule (Swi) RendementhypoCycling Team 0:04:25
12 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas 0:04:33
13 Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike 0:04:45
14 Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie 0:04:50
15 Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team 0:04:56
16 Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team 0:05:21
17 Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/GSI 0:05:22
18 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink – BeOne 0:05:37
19 Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0:05:42
20 Ben Berden (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team 0:06:22
21 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV 0:06:33
22 Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink – BeOne 0:06:47
23 Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW 0:07:33
24 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 0:07:45
25 Marco Bianco (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team 0:07:47
26 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW 0:09:10
27 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel 0:09:23
28 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof 0:09:34
29 Tom De Kort (Bel) AVB – Cycling Team
30 Ivar Hartogs (Ned)
31 Bjorn Rondelez (Bel) Lingier Versluys Beachbikers Team
DNF Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob
DNF Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team
DNF Gusty Bausch (Lux) LC Kayl
DNF Bart Verschueren (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team

U23 Men

1 Lubomír Petruš (Cze) BKCP – Power Plus 0:52:54
2 Robert Gavenda (Svk) Fidea Cycling Team 0:00:11
3 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0:00:20
4 Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW 0:00:37
5 Stef Boden (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team 0:00:43
6 Jirí Polnický (Cze) Empella Czech Team 0:00:49
7 Marcel Meisen (Ger) Team Kuota – Indeland 0:00:54
8 Jim Aernouts (Bel) BKCP – Powerplus 0:01:35
9 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0:01:59
10 Pawel Sczepaniak (Pol) 0:02:07
11 Micki van Empel (Ned) 0:02:34
12 Kevin Eeckhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob 0:02:50
13 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Projob 0:03:01
14 Karel Hnik (Cze) 0:03:08
15 Kevin Cant (Bel) AVB – Cycling Team 0:03:15
16 Sascha Weber (Ger) FC Rheinland-Pfalz Flonheim 0:03:28
17 Kacper Scerpaniak (Pol) 0:03:39
18 Dave De Cleyn (Bel) AVB – Cycling Team 0:04:23
19 Michael Winterberg (Swi) VC Pfaffnau-Roggliswil 0:04:34
20 Sven Beelen (Bel) Easypay Cyclocross Team 0:04:54
21 Arnaud Van Den Abeele (Bel) BKCP – Powerplus 0:05:11
22 Stijn Mortelmans (Bel) 0:05:31
23 Zeb Willems (Bel) AVB – Cycling Team 0:05:55
24 Wim Thijs (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W. 0:06:22
25 Dario Stauble (Swi) 0:06:26
26 Jelle Brackman (Bel) MTB Dreamteam AArtselAAr 0:07:13
27 Dany Lacroix (Bel) Easypay Cyclocross Team 0:07:35
28 Raf Risbourg (Bel) 0:07:44
29 Romain Gihoul (Bel) 0:07:50
30 Mattia Rossi (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team 0:07:57
31 Ruben Veestraeten (Bel) AVB – Cycling Team 0:08:44
32 Rinze De Proost (Bel) 0:09:04
33 Jonathan Bervoets (Bel) Heylen Meubelcentrale Zlwc St.Tru 0:09:27
34 Roman Sedlmair (Ger) Team Focus-Alpecin Cross
35 Bert Vermeiren (Bel)
DNF Rutger La Haye (Bel)
DNF Mitchell Huenders (Ned) AA Cycling Team

Junior Men

1 Jens Adams (Bel) 0:39:01
2 Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) 0:00:01
3 Joeri Hofman (Bel) 0:02:18
4 Jorn Claes (Bel) 0:02:32
5 Lex Reichling (Lux) 0:03:03
6 Lorenzo Pepermans (Bel) 0:04:17
7 Stijn Heyse (Bel) 0:04:44
8 Charles-Etienne Lambert (Bel)
9 Jellen Schiettekatte (Bel) 0:04:49
10 Mike Van Aken (Bel) 0:04:59
11 Joni Geeraerts (Bel) 0:05:04
12 Toon Aerts (Bel) 0:06:06
13 Niels Ooms (Bel) 0:06:39
14 Bryan Borowski (Bel) 0:07:39
15 Glenn Thys (Bel) 0:07:44
16 Laurent Reichling (Lux) 0:08:49
17 Ralph Gleis (Lux) 0:11:00
18 Stijn Gielen (Bel) 0:11:14
19 Michel Kuffer (Lux)