by Bart Hazen of The Daily Peloton

Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee #6 : GP Sven Nys – Baal

Elite Men:
Sven Nys opened the year 2009 with his eighth victory in the tenth edition of his own GP in Baal. On the final lap, Nys attacked the in-form Zdenek Stybar, who won the race in Loenhout and Diegem in the past week, and gained a large enough gap to celebrate the win in front of his home crowd. The sprint for the third place was won by another local rider of Baal-Tremelo, young U23 World Champion Niels Albert. Albert credited the third place to his teammate Radomir Simunek, who suppressed his speed for his Albert to finish as third in his home race.

Due to frost, the course was hard and very fast. From the start Sven Nys, Zdenek Stybar, Bart Wellens and Kevin Pauwels attacked. Niels Albert missed the fast start and was forced to chase. But after a chase of a few laps he made the jump to the break.

After a few laps, ten riders were up front with Sven Nys, Zdenek Stybar, Niels Albert, Radomir Simunek, Sven Vanthourenhout, Bart Wellens, Kevin Pauwels, Thijs Al, Richard Groenendaal and Dieter Vanthourenhout. Despite attacks of Al, Stybar, Nys, Simunek and Vanthourenhout nobody was able to get away until the penultimate lap.

In the penultimate lap Sven Nys attacked for the second time and this time he was able to create a gap. Only Zdenek Stybar was able to follow. In the chasing group Niels Albert was the strongest and showed that his form, after his injury, is growing for the National Championships of next week.

In the final lap Sven Nys attacked for the third time and this time it was enough. Stybar tried with all his might to stay in contact with the Belgian Champion but was dropped with less than half a lap to go. With a fantastic last lap, Nys took his eighth victory in the tenth edition of his own GP. At a few seconds in arrears, it was Stybar who rounded off a great week with a second place after his previous two wins. Brian Matter and Troy Wells were the only Americans at the start, finishing close to each other with 25th and 26th place, respectively.

“This is most difficult and also most beautiful edition that I have ever won,” said Nys after the race.

In the GVA ranking nothing changes. Sven Nys retains a comfortable lead with 206 points. Fidea riders Bart Wellens and Zdenek Stybar are second and third with 168 and 161 points, respectively.

Video highlights of the last lap can be seen on our community site here.

The U23 race was once again dominated by German talent Philipp Walsleben. The winner of the World Cup, the GVA and likely the Superprestige attacked in the second half of the race and despite a crash in the final lap, his gap on his rivals was big enough to get the first victory for the new BKCP-Powerplus team. Vincent Baestaens won the sprint of Lubomir Petrus for second. Bjorn Selander was one of the few Americans at the start and finished as 15th. Jeremy Ferguson finished in 27th.

In the Juniors race it was American Zach McDonald who made big impression on the Belgians and Dutch riders. Sean de Bie dominated the entire race and was on his way to grab another victory until a chain problem ruined his chances and sent him back. De Bie would go on to finish third. The win went to Dutch rider Corné van Kessel. Van Kessel got rid of his companion Zach McDonald in the final lap and won with a few seconds over the surprising American national champion. The second place bodes well for the American’s chances at the world championships. McDonald says it’s the first year he’s really trained. In the summers, he also races downhill on his mountain bike.

Behind McDonald was California’s Cody Kaiser in 14th, with Cody Cox, Joseph Dombrowski, Morgan Ryan finishing close together in 18th, 19th, and 20th, respectively.

The GVA will continue with the seventh race and penultimate race on February 9 in Lille.

Full Results

Elite Men
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago
2 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team
3 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
4 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus
5 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Projob
6 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team
7 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team
8 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drinks Cycling Team
9 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Drinks Cycling Team
10 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
11 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Wielergroep Beveren 2000
12 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank
13 Wilant Van Gils (Ned) ZZPR.NL
14 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank
15 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans
16 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Vacansoleil Cyclingteam
17 Ben Berden (Bel) Revor Cycling Team
18 Christian Heule (Swi) Rendementhypo Cycling Team
19 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team
20 Mariusz Gil (Pol)
21 Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team
22 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned)
23 Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team
24 Bart Verschueren (Bel) Revor Cycling Team
25 Brian Matter USA)
26 Troy Wells (USA)
27 Roger Hammond (GBr) Cervelo TestTeam
28 Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned)
29 Wesley Van Der Linden (Bel)
30 Tom De Kort (Bel) AVB Cycling Team
31 Jimmy Tielens (Bel) Team Saeco Heist O/D Berg
32 Koen Diels (Bel) V.Z.W. Royal Antwerp Bicycle Club
33 Steven De Schoesitter (Bel) Rudyco Cycling Team
34 Freddy De Meester (Bel) Rijschool AH – Gentse VS
35 Rene Mertens (Bel) MD CT Team
36 Kurt Loef (Bel) Team Saeco Heist O/D Berg

1 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus
2 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team
3 Petrus Lubomir (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus
4 Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team
5 Mitchell Huenders (Ned) AA Drinks Cycling Team
6 Jim Aernouts (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
7 Marcel Meisen (Ger)
8 Lukas Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb ProJob
9 Robert Gavenda (Svk)
10 Wim Leemans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
11 Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team
12 Gianni Denolf (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
13 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb Projob
14 Dave De Cleyn (Bel) Scott USA Cycling Team
15 Bjorn Selander (USA)
16 Jonathan McEvoy (GBr)
17 Kevin Cant (Bel) AVB Cycling Team
18 Jelle Brackman (Bel) Granville-Morgan Blue Cycling Team
19 Stef Boden (Bel) AA Drinks Cycling Team
20 Kristof Zegers (Bel) WSC Jonge Renners – Booischot
21 Jonathan Bervoets (Bel) Heylen Meubelcentrale Zlwc St.Truiden
22 Arnaud Van Den Abeele (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
23 David Fletcher (GBr)
24 Zeb Willems (Bel) AVB – Cycling Team
25 Simon Geets (Bel)
26 Kristof Cop (Bel) AVB Cycling Team
27 Jeremy Ferguson (USA)
28 Michiel Dieleman (Bel) Avia Cycling Team
29 Bart Barkhuis (Ned)
30 Thomas Boeckx (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W.
31 Dennis Verhoeven (Bel) AVB Cycling Team
32 Kenny Maes (Bel) De Toekomstvrienden Baal
33 Cristian Izquierdo-Sholtobriukh (Bel) Heylen Meubelcentrale
34 Tom Desmet (Bel) Asfra Racing Team
35 Jean Baptist Taleux (Bel)
36 Lucien Vollebergen (Bel) WC Midden Limburg

1 Corné Van Kessel (Ned)
2 Zach McDonald (USA)
3 Sean De Bie (Bel) Kon. Balen B.C. V.Z.W.
4 Vinnie Braet (Bel) Cyclingteam Oost-West VZW
5 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Mez Team Belgium Snellegem
6 Ruben Scheire (Bel) Avia Cycling Team
7 Karl Peeters (Bel) De Dijlespurters V.V. Mechelen
8 Angelo De Clercq (Bel) Cyclingteam Oost-West VZW
9 Hendrik Sweeck (Bel) Cycling Team 99 V.Z.W. Schriek
10 Karel Hnik (Cze) Atlasromerscze
11 Wilco Van Beusekom (Ned) JVR De Batauwers
12 Ritchie Denolf (Bel) Cyclingteam Oost-West VZW
13 Joeri Hofman (Bel)
14 Cody Kaiser (USA)
15 Raf Risbourg (Bel) Koninklijke Hoboken W.A.C. VZW
16 Floris De Tier (Bel) Cyclingteam Oost-West VZW
17 Bert Noterman (Bel) Heylen Meubelcentrale Zlwc St.Truiden
18 Cody Cox (USA)
19 Joseph Dombrowski (USA)
20 Morgan Ryan (USA)
21 Bert Noterman (Bel) KSC Dendersteek Labiekes
22 Pieter-Jan Van Overstraeten (Bel)
23 Nick Van Dijke (Ned)
24 Rutger La Haye (Bel) Edegem Bicycle Club V.Z.W.
25 Nick Van Den Eynde (Bel) De Dijlespurters V.V. Mechelen
26 Mike Van Aken (Bel)
27 Olivier Smet (Bel)
28 Manuel Timmermans (Ned)
29 Klaas Vermetten (Bel) Koninklijke Hoboken W.A.C. VZW
30 Dorien Raeymaekers (Bel) Off Road Club Bmx 2000 Dessel VZW
31 Jonas Van Rensbergen (Bel)