The podium: Pauwels, Meeusen and Stybar. Bart Hazen

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 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:

1Tom MEEUSENBEL241:02:078080
2Zdenek STYBARCZE271:02:076060
3Kevin PAUWELSBEL281:02:074040
4Sven NYSBEL361:02:073030
5Niels ALBERTBEL261:02:082525
6Radomir SIMUNEKCZE291:02:092020
7Marcel MEISENGER231:02:091717
8Sven VANTHOURENHOUTBEL311:02:101515
9Vincent BAESTAENSBEL231:02:161212
10Francis MOUREYFRA321:02:171010
11Klaas VANTORNOUTBEL301:02:2988
12Dieter VANTHOURENHOUTBEL271:02:3066
13Jim AERNOUTSBEL231:02:3144
14Thijs ALNED321:02:3122
15Jan DENUWELAEREBEL241:02:5611
16Twan VAN DEN BRANDNED231:02:57
17Thijs VAN AMERONGENNED261:02:57
18Joeri ADAMSBEL231:02:59
19Gerben DE KNEGTNED371:03:00
20Kevin CANTBEL241:03:29
21Bart AERNOUTSBEL301:03:39
22Rob PEETERSBEL271:04:06
23Tom VAN DEN BOSCHBEL271:04:17
24Patrick GAUDYBEL351:04:18
25Patrick VAN LEEUWENNED271:04:18
26Stijn HUYSBEL261:04:19
27Ryan TREBONUSA311:04:29
28Steven DE DECKERBEL301:04:31
29Bart VERSCHUERENBEL261:04:39
30Bart HOFMANBEL271:04:41
31Mariusz GILPOL291:04:42
32Gianni DENOLFBEL251:04:52
33Jens GYSBEL231:05:08
34Jonathan PAGEUSA361:05:28
35Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLEBEL241:05:31
36Ben BERDENBEL371:05:32
37Kristof COPBEL231:05:42
38Dave DE CLEYNBEL241:05:43

Women’s Full Results:

1Marianne VOSNED2541:14:008080
2Daphny VAN DEN BRANDNED3441:43:006060
3Sanne CANTBEL2242:26:004040
4Sanne VAN PAASSENNED2442:56:003030
5Nikki HARRISGBR2642:59:002525
6Arenda GRIMBERGNED3443:04:002020
7Helen WYMANGBR3143:04:001717
8Pavla HAVLIKOVACZE2943:34:001515
9Sabrina STULTIENSNED1943:34:001212
10Sophie DE BOERNED2244:09:001010
11Joyce VANDERBEKENBEL2844:17:0088
12Reza HORMESNED4544:24:0066
13Nicole DE BIE - LEYTENBEL3744:32:0044
14Nancy BOBERBEL3744:32:0022
15Nikoline HANSENDEN2544:59:0011
16Gabriella DAYGBR2845:06:00
17Lana VERBERNENED2045:17:00
18Karen VERHESTRAETENBEL2145:26:00
19Amy DOMBROSKIUSA2545:50:00
20Iris OCKELOENNED2046:14:00
21Christine VARDAROSUSA4346:44:00
22Anja GELDHOFBEL3947:19:00
23Katrien THIJSBEL2747:26:00
24Kim VAN DE STEENEBEL2647:26:00
25Nathalie NIJNSBEL19
27Shana MAESBEL17
29Caitlyn LA HAYEBEL19