Albert out on top in bpost Bank Trophy Loenhout

World champion extends lead, Nys falls out of contention

The traditional Azencross in Loenhout turned into a muddy day of fortune for world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus). In the fifth round of the time-based Bpost Bank Trofee series Albert beat Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma – Quickstep) after an exciting duel. A mud-clad Albert released a big scream and threw his fist in the air when crossing the line.

In high contrast with the joy of Albert was the frustration of Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony). The Belgian champion went twice over the handlebars into the mud and lost a lot of time in the time-based cyclo-cross series. During the bell lap Nys even left the course to chase down a spectator who threw beer at him. Eventually Nys abandoned the race just before hitting the finishing straight. In the general classification Albert comfortably leads the series. Pauwels is runner-up at more than five minutes. Nys tumbled from second place to fourth at 6:21 behind Albert.

“I always enjoy riding here in Loenhout. I receive some booing too but also receive a lot of support. It’s like the world championships. It’s sad that these situations are part of cyclo-cross these days,” Albert said on Sporza. “This morning I already checked out the course and I knew where the best tracks were, that was pleasant during the race. Normally the overall win in the series is mine although I can still run into problems too. Now I can wait-and-see and prepare for the championships.”

Albert wasn’t spotted near the front during the first lap when a big group of fifteen riders led the race, most of them avoided a spectacular crash from Julien Taramarcaz (BMC). Later during that opening lap Nys hooked his handlebars around a pole and crashed a first time, and trailed by half a minute after the incident.

Halfway through the second lap Albert moved forward when the race reached the intermediate sprint with 15 bonus seconds. Albert grabbed those, increasing his series lead over Nys up to more than a minute. By continuing his efforts it was clear Albert was having a good day. Only Stybar and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) were able to keep up with the world champion.

Early on in the third lap Nys rode into a puddle which ended up being a ditch. This time Nys went headfirst into the mud behind the fencing. He continued but halfway through the race Nys trailed the three leaders by more than a minute. Albert kept the pace high in front and when starting the fifth lap Vantornout cracked, quickly losing 15 seconds on Albert and Stybar. “Albert rode very fast and I hit the red zone,” Vantornout said on Sporza.

When starting the penultimate lap things turned awkward for Albert, who suddenly got dropped by an unleashed Stybar in the first muddy sections of the course. The Czech quickly put Albert at 7 seconds and seemed to be heading for the win. “I wasn’t accelerating,” Stybar told Sporza. “I was just having a good line in the mud and kept riding at my limit. I didn’t do any specific training or intervals so I didn’t have any accelerations in my legs.” Just before the end of the lap Albert got back into his rhythm and when entering the first meadows during the final lap the two were back together. In the final technical sections Stybar struggled and Albert punched away from the tired Czech champion.

Meanwhile Nys was spotted chasing down a spectator after being hit by a beer cup. The Belgian champion must have been highly frustrated but didn't get physical towards the young man. Other spectators seemed to take care of that part.

Albert took a nice win with Stybar being an impressive road rider in second place. The Czech also saw some beer cups flying around during his race. "I saw some coming but I'm a beer drinker so I didn't mind too much about that," Stybar said.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) rode most of the race alone in fourth place but he profited from his teammate’s bad luck to grab the last spot on the podium. “I wasn’t lucky early on due to the crash from the Swiss rider [Taramarcaz]. I’m satisfied with my performance on such a course. Nys? If you abandon then you lose a lot of time,” Pauwels said.

Vantornout crossed the line in fourth place. “Too bad I made a mistake in the end because I wanted to finish on the podium. It was a tough and spectacular race with deep tracks which made it tricky while the crowds were often standing halfway up the course,” Vantornout said.Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) came in as fifth ahead of Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink - and Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept) who confirmed his good performance from Essen last week.


Full Results
1 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:57:36  
2 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:16  
3 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:00:56  
4 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:01:01  
5 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:01:32  
6 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:01:47  
7 Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept 0:01:58  
8 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:02:00  
9 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:02:04  
10 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus 0:02:21  
11 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:02:36  
12 Romain Lejeune (Fra) 0:02:39  
13 Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 0:02:52  
14 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 0:02:58  
15 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team    
16 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:03:02  
17 Jonathan Page (USA) 0:03:31  
18 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea    
19 Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole    
20 Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team 0:03:40  
21 Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:03:57  
22 Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea 0:04:15  
23 Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team    
24 Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-BigMat 0:04:21  
25 Kevin Cant (Bel) 0:04:39  
26 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:05:24  
27 Mitchell Huenders (Ned) 0:05:40  
28 Patrick Gaudy (Bel) 0:05:46  
29 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept 0:06:20  
30 Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized 0:06:28  
31 Dave De Cleyn (Bel) 0:06:50  
32 Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling 0:07:59  
33 Justin Lindine (USA) Redline  -1lap  
34 Yoann Corbihan (Fra)    
35 Jeremy Durrin (USA) JAM Fund / NCC  -2laps  
36 Lewis Rattray (Aus)  -3laps  
DNF Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
DNF Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea    
DNF Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team    
DNF Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco    
DNF Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus    
DNF Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh-Clement    
DNF Julien Pion (Fra) Equipe Cycliste Armée de Terre CSA    
DNF Kristof Cop (Bel)    
DNF Stef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
DNF Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL    
Sprint 1
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus    
2 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
3 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
Fastest Lap
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus    
2 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
3 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
Classification after five rounds
1 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 4:49:31  
2 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:05:18  
3 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:06:08  
4 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 0:06:21  
5 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:07:27  
6 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:08:34  
7 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:08:55  
8 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:11:21  
9 Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept 0:13:19  
10 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:14:07  
11 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:15:58  
12 Aurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube 0:16:49  
13 Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:17:21  
14 Jonathan Page (USA) 0:17:25  
15 Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:18:28  
16 Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team 0:18:41  
17 Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 0:19:04  
18 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team 0:19:18  
19 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus 0:19:37  
20 Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:20:06  
21 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:20:21  
22 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 0:20:51  
23 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:20:56  
24 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:21:25  
25 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:21:40  
26 Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea 0:22:11  
27 Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole 0:22:23  
28 Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling 0:22:30  
29 Mitchell Huenders (Ned) 0:22:36  
30 Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco 0:22:46  
31 Kevin Cant (Bel) 0:22:50  
32 Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus 0:23:30  
33 Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team 0:23:39  
34 Romain Lejeune (Fra) 0:23:41  
35 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 0:23:59  
36 Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:24:08  
37 Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team 0:24:19  
38 Stef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:24:44  
39 Dave De Cleyn (Bel) 0:25:21  
40 Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-BigMat 0:25:23  
41 Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized 0:25:31  
42 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite 0:25:38  
43 Patrick Gaudy (Bel) 0:26:02  
44 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept    
45 Yoann Corbihan (Fra)    
46 Justin Lindine (USA) Redline    
47 Jeremy Durrin (USA) JAM Fund / NCC    
48 Lewis Rattray (Aus)    
49 Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh-Clement    
50 Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL    
Sprint classification after five rounds
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 9 pts
2 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 7  
3 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 5  
4 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 3  
5 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 2  
6 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 2  
7 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 2  
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