Meeusen sprints to victory

Nys denied after pedal snapped in finale, remains in Superprestige lead

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) grabbed the biggest win of his career in a tumultuous fifth round of the Superprestige Series in Gieten, The Netherlands. The 23-year-old Belgian sprinted to victory from a four-man leader's group after a fast race on frozen subsoil.

Superprestige leader Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) was on Meeusen's wheel at the start of the paved finishing straight, but the Belgian champion snapped off his left pedal and was forced to run across the finish line. BKCP-Powerplus teammates Radomir Simunek and Dieter Vanthourenhout, also part of the four man lead group, both passed Nys to finish second and third while Nys had to settle for fourth.

"I'm super happy because this is my first big win," Meeusen said. "It's sad to see what happened with Sven because I'd rather beat him on his true value. Then again, 'cross is 'cross and today I won. Riding on a frozen subsoil was to my advantage because the best riders can't transfer their power on the bike like they usually do."

For runner-up Radomir Simunek Jr. (BKCP-Powerplus) it's the first major podium result of the season in a race dedicated to his father who passed away last summer. On the podium he received the flowers from his mother. "I'm very satisfied. Today I fought for my dad. I rode at 110 percent," Simunek said.

Meeusen's delight was in high contrast with Nys' frustration about his broken pedal. "I'm lucky not to crash hard," Nys said. His fourth place finish wasn't a bad result after all since his rivals for the Superprestige Series had an off-day. "I'm doing a good job in the series but I'm a winner and I'd rather had two points more; I'm annoyed that I didn't win."

Only Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) was able to score a sizeable amount of points, finishing fifth at 45 seconds off the pace of the four leaders. The other stars didn't shine in Gieten. Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) crashed hard when trying to close the gap to the four leaders. The experienced Belgian headed straight to the hospital while complaining about pain in his neck and wrist.

Saturday's World Cup winner Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) had a complete off-day on Sunday. After a disastrous start he never recovered and eventually pulled out of the race. World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) was riding near the front of the race but ran into difficulties on the icy parcours. "I made a small mistake and had to switch bikes. After taking a new bike I bobbled. It's a real shame to lose out on the Superprestige after fighting so hard for it in Hamme-Zogge despite my sore knee," Stybar said. The world champion eventually failed to score any Superprestige points by finishing in 17th position.

Compared to the tough World Cup course in Koksijde on Saturday, the riders found a fast, frozen and twisting course in the north of The Netherlands. The average speed on the tricky course reached 29 km/h, challenging the bike handling skills of the riders as the circuit grew slipperier throughout the race.

Four riders separated themselves from the field approximately half way through the race and steadily extended their lead: Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet), Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and BKCP-Powerplus riders Dieter Vanthourenhout and Radomir Simunek Jr.

Meeusen and Nys proved the strongest of this group and the duo held a slight gap over the BKCP-Powerplus teammates entering the finishing straight. Meeusen led out the sprint with Nys tucked in behind, but the Belgian champion's left pedal snapped off the crankarm providing Meeusen with his biggest victory to date.

Full Results
1Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team1:02:40 
2Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:10 
3Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus  
4Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:25 
5Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:45 
6Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team  
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team  
8Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team  
9Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team  
10Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:55 
11Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:01:00 
12Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:20 
13Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team0:01:25 
14Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team0:01:30 
15Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:01:35 
16Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor  
17Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:40 
18Mitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus0:02:10 
19Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team  
20Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team  
21Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor  
22Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans0:02:25 
23Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:02:55 
24Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:03:55 
25Jordy Luisman (Ned) RSE Cycling Team0:04:05 
26Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Van Vliet EBH Elshof0:04:15 
27Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)0:04:25 
28Johannes Sickmüller (Ger) Stevens Racing Team0:05:25 
29Tim Ottens (Ned) -3laps 
30Michael Stenzel (Ger) -4laps 
31Jorge Cantalicio (Spa)  
32Frank Huisman (Ned) -5laps 
33Jos Feiken (Ned) -6laps 
34Alberto Candelas (Spa)  
35Kaey Van Rij (Ned) PRC Delta  
Superprestige Series standings after 5 rounds
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet68pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team56 
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team51 
4Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team49 
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus46 
6Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team45 
7Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team39 
8Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor35 
9Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team28 
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team23 
11Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus18 
12Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team17 
13Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus17 
14Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor15 
15Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus14 
16Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom12 
17Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus12 
18Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team11 
19Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team11 
20Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor9 
21Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team7 
22Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com4 
23Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans3 
24Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3 
25Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike3 
26Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team2 
27Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team1 
28Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team1 
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