Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team) out-sprinted Belgian champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink Team) to take the Bpost Bank Trofee Koppenbergcross victory on Saturday in Oudenaarde. Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team) was in a solo move for some of the elite men's race but was caught by the leaders and rode in for third place.
The elite men were treated to a sunny and relatively warm day for the second round of the Bpost Bank Trofee series. The opening round was held in Ronse at the GP Mario de Clercq in October.
It was a fast start and a group of seven riders emerged during the opening lap but as the pace settled the lead group swelled back up to roughly 20 riders. Pauwels did much of the pace setting on the front of the field but an attack from Nys split the group for a second time.
Nys led the charge in what he hoped would end in his tenth Koppenbergcross win but he was joined by a competitive group that also included Pauwels, Klass Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Lars van der Haar (Development Team Giant-Shimano).
Van Aert and Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea) led a small chase group that struggled to latch on to the four riders in the lead but it wasn’t long before they made contact half way through the race.
Van der Haar made a move on the course’s muddy ascent and was followed by Van Aert, Meeusen and Pauwels, who bridged across to the three escapees. The move looked destined for success but it left Nys and Vantornout out of contention for a podium place roughly six seconds back.
Nys pushed hard for over a lap to make contact with the leaders but Meeusen gave him little time to rest and his immediate attack caused Nys to detach from the leaders again. The five-strong front riders, however, slowed slightly to look at one another, which allowed Nys to regain contact.
Pauwels was the next rider jump and clear the group. Van der Haar led the chase followed by Vantornout, Nys, Van Aert and Meeusen but Van de Haar's efforts cost him greatly and he was the first rider to fall off pace during the attacks in the last two laps.
Pauwels held onto a small gap over Vantornout and Van Aert, and although Nys was initially gapped from the pair of chasers, he managed to dig deep to catch back up again.
The three chasers caught Pauwels with one lap to go. Nys was the first rider to launch an attack but he was quickly followed by Van Aert and the pair raced toward the finish line together.
Van Aert led Nys through the last corner and onto the pavement where there was a lapped rider from Van Aert's team to maneuver around in the final sprint. Van Aert won the two-man sprint to the finish line while Nys was forced to settle for second.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||58:59:00|
|2||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team||0:00:02|
|3||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:00:11|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:00:17|
|5||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:26|
|6||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Shimano Development Team||0:00:53|
|7||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:01:13|
|8||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:14|
|9||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:33|
|10||Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||0:01:57|
|11||Patrick Gaudy (Bel) Veranclassic-Doltcini Cycling Team||0:01:59|
|12||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:09|
|13||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team||0:02:13|
|14||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||0:02:44|
|15||Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles||0:02:55|
|16||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:03:05|
|17||Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:03:07|
|18||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:03:11|
|19||Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continentaal Team||0:03:43|
|20||Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||0:03:48|
|21||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Project Cross Racing||0:03:58|
|22||Clement Lhotellerie (Fra)||0:04:08|
|23||Kevin Eeckhout (Bel) Van Assche-Alpha Motorhomes Cycling Team||0:04:21|
|24||Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel)||0:04:32|
|25||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:04:49|
|26||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:04:55|
|27||Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:05:39|
|28||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team||0:06:18|
|29||Severin Sägesser (Swi)||0:06:33|
|30||Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles||0:06:53|
|31||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)|
|32||Niels Koyen (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team|
|33||Radomir Simunek (Cze) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team|
|34||Wouter Goosen (Bel) Zannata Cycling Team|