Nys storms to 50th Superprestige win

Albert fades as Pauwels claims second

Cyclo-cross legend Sven Nys has reached another milestone in his illustrious career as he grabbed his 50th Superprestige victory ahead of Kevin Pauwels and Niels Albert in Geiten, The Netherlands on Sunday. The result also extended Nys' formidable record over 1980s cyclo-cross star Roland Liboton, who recorded 21 Superprestige race wins on his palmarès.

Four Superprestige events after his 49th win at the season opener in Ruddervoorde, Belgium, Nys took number 50 in style. A playful Nys even had time to grab a small "50th" trophy from fans prior to the line, before riding across the finish and into the lead of the race series. A tenth overall victory in the series is also now within the Belgian's reach. "The trophy wasn't planned but I saw those people with that thing, so I grabbed it," Nys said to VT4 afterwards.

Nys dominates in Dutch round

Gieten is the only Superprestige round outside the cyclo-cross Mecca of Flanders, Belgium. The course was a relatively straight-forward rain soaked meadow, with only a few stairs and hurdles forcing the riders off their bike. A crash from home rider Gerben De Knegt early on in the second lap offered Nys an unexpected lead.

World champion Niels Albert had a difficult time bridging up to Nys and once there was never at ease. A fresh acceleration from Nys before the race's halfway point broke Albert's hopes on winning in Gieten.

"I'm glad," said Nys. "This is a tough race and normally I don't like these 'cross races in heavy meadows, but I was well recovered from yesterday's race so I went for it. Albert was not far away, but this is a course where you can't be comfortable on the wheels," Nys said.

After losing some points on Zdenek Stybar and Albert during the three previous Superprestige races Nys appeared to have accepted his fate in the series. "The Superprestige was always one of my main goals, but I lost some points everywhere. This time I could take points on a course suited for Albert so we're equal again. I'll have to be fully concentrated in Diegem in order not to lose valuable points there. Anyway, it's better to lead by a few points than to be left chasing," Nys said.

Pauwels pounces

As Nys rode away from him, Albert cracked and was brought back by Kevin Pauwels. Moments later the World Champion struggled to remount his bicycle and Pauwels took his leave as well. Second place for Pauwels was his first Superprestige podium spot in a few years, although the reserved Belgian didn't show much emotion. "Yesterday my back was sore and though I felt it today, too, this course is better for my back. Early on I was with Stybar, but he couldn't follow," Pauwels said.

Albert settled for third place after a hard-fought race to make the podium and save his overall Superprestige ranking. "I'm happy that I can head to Spain now," said Albert, referring to most riders' plans to stay in Spain for two weeks in order to combine a training camp with the World Cup in Igorre next week. "The last two weeks haven't been 100 per cent. It's ideal to leave the country for two weeks. Without a doubt Sven was the best today. The level is that high that if you're not 100 per cent that it's not possible to win. My manager told me not to think too much about these races and that we'll be better soon," Albert said.

Zdenek Stybar, winner of the World Cup round in Koksijde one day earlier, wasn't able to win a fourth consecutive race. Early on he was able to follow Pauwels, but eventually had to fight hard to hold off a large group in order to protect his fourth place. "Actually I'm happy. I didn't lose a lot of points on a course that doesn't suit me. Of course I would've liked to be on the podium. I was tired, like many others, but I'm happy that I didn't finish tenth," said Stybar.

The most surprising performance in Gieten came from young German rider Philip Walsleben who took seventh place. No mean feat during his first year as Elite rider. "A surprise? Not a big one for me. We set up a plan in which I wouldn't race on Saturday so I'd be fresh at the start of this one. It worked and that's how I was able to finish seventh," said Walsleben.

Sole US-starter Jonathan Page managed to get the hole shot and fought hard to hold his position, but the demanding course saw him drop back through the field. He eventually finished 15th to grab the only remaining Superprestige point, his first this season.

The Superprestige series will now take a break until the next round in Diegem, Belgium on December 27.

Full Results
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago0:59:15 
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:00:27 
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:02 
4Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:01:17 
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank0:01:21 
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob0:01:25 
7Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Team BKCP-Power Plus0:01:28 
8Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob0:01:32 
9Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux0:01:34 
10Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas0:01:49 
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago0:01:55 
12Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank  
13Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie0:02:09 
14Ben Berden (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team0:02:14 
15Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:02:22 
16Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:45 
17Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV0:02:53 
18Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Baboco Revor Continental Team0:03:10 
19Radomír Šimunek Ml (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus0:03:30 
20Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:03:35 
21Marco Bianco (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team0:03:43 
22Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW0:03:57 
23Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel0:04:04 
24Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof0:04:08 
25Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida0:04:21 
26Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:05:40 
27Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) KED Bianchi Berlin0:06:27 
28Ivar Hartogs (Ned) ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida  
29Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned) Sint Oedenrode  
30Jerry Kallenfels (Ned) Easypay Cyclocross Team  
31Jordy Luisman (Ned)  
32Magnus Darvell (Swe)  
33Boldbaatar Bold-Erdene (Mgl)  
34Kaey Van Rij (Ned)  
35Ariunbold Naranbat (Mgl)  
Elite men standings 
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago71pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus69 
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team67 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob56 
5Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team51 
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank45 
7Radomír Šimunek Ml (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus32 
8Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob31 
9Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team31 
10Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank30 
11Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas26 
12Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus22 
13Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago18 
14Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Team BKCP-Power Plus14 
15Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV12 
16Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux7 
17Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team4 
18Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof3 
19Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie3 
20Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida3 
21Ben Berden (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team2 
22Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike1 
23Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne1 
24John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale1 
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