The first ever running of the GVA Trophy in Namur was a great return to Belgium for National Cyclo-Cross Champion Helen Wyman.
Billed as the toughest race in Belgium by course designer and cyclo-cross God Roland Liberton, the pre race rain helped keep the course as tough as could be for all of the categories of racing.
The steep banks were balanced by sweeping technical descents and three riders set about making an early difference. Kona/FSA Factory Team rider Helen was joined by Daphny van den Brand and Pavla Havlikova as they quickly gained an advantage over the chasers.
It was on the 3rd of 5 laps that Daphny managed to push forward and finally get a gap on her 2 companions. ‘It wasn’t really the kind of course where you could chase people down.’ said Helen after the race. ‘If you managed to get away, it was simply because you were the strongest on the day. Daphny was 2nd in the World Cup last week, so I’m happy to have been with her today. I know I’m getting stronger every week, and I know when I’ll be riding at 100%. That wasn’t today, so 3rd is a great result. I beat some good riders, and it’s nice to see where I am on a ‘proper’ cross course.’
The course is a great addition to the women’s calendar, and also increases the women’s GVA trophy by another event. This can surely only be good for the sport and will add more interest in the women’s scene and ensure more of the top women are riding together in the season long series.
‘I’ve got a weekend off this coming week as I’m racing on the Tuesday night in Holland, so that allows me some good time on the bike in preparation for the European Championships. Its also great not to be travelling for a few days so I can settle into my rhythm and take another step up the podium’ added Helen
1 Daphny van den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.nl 0:45:01
2 Pavla Havlikova (Cze) AVB 0:00:16
3 Helen Wyman (GBr) KONA/FSA Factory Team 0:00:50
4 Sanne Cant (Bel) 0:01:35
5 Ludivine Henrion (Bel) 0:01:48
6 Linda van Rijen (Ned) 0:01:55
7 Saskia Elemans (Ned) 0:02:15
8 Sanne van Paassen (Ned) 0:03:10
9 Sophie De Boer (Ned) 0:03:50
10 Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) 0:04:35