Albert tops Nys at Azencross

Last lap fall in pit area costs Nys shot at victory

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) has won the fifth round of the GVA Trophy in Loenhout, Belgium for the second time in his career. Top honours in Loenhout came down to a two-man battle between Albert and Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet), who had separated themselves from a five-man lead group during the fifth of eight laps.

Just as in the Superprestige Diegem race two days ago, it appeared that victory would be decided in a sprint finish between Albert and Nys, but the Belgian champion's recent run of bad luck continued as Nys fell in the pit area on the last lap while making a bike exchange. Nys quickly got back on his feet and mounted his fresh bike but could not close the gap on Albert, who had bypassed the pit and soloed to victory.

"Sven and I fought out a close game today. We both made mistakes but in the end I expected a sprint would be the decider," said Albert. "Suddenly Sven crashed and I didn't hesitate to go from there. Too bad because I would have loved to sprint against Sven, then I would know before the Belgian championships who the fastest was."

For Sven Nys it was yet another blow that kept him from winning a race. "The run of bad luck doesn't seem to come to an end. It's becoming a bit too much," Nys said. The Belgian champion has already had potential victories erased in three previous races due to a faulty pit exchange, a pedal which fell off and a dropped chain.

Nevertheless, Nys did a good job in the overall standings in which he made up six points on leader Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea). On New Year's day Nys can become the new overall leader in his home town of Baal.

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) rounded out the podium in third place, finishing 47 seconds down on Albert in his second race after his return to competition. In the final lap Stybar left his teammate Pauwels and German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) behind.

Belgians Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea), Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) rolled across the line more than a minute behind winner Albert.

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) battled his way into this group and grabbed ninth place just ahead of Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Off Road). For Page it was his best result of the season in a European C1-ranked race. "Exactly. I'm happy I raced well and happy with where I'm at. Now it's a matter of confirming this result," Page said.

Niels Albert also grabbed the €1000 bonus for clocking the fastest lap time of the race. Albert won this mini-competition just ahead of Kevin Pauwels and Philipp Walsleben.

The next round of the GVA Trophy will be held in Baal, Belgium on New Year's day.

Full Results
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:56:22 
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:11 
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:47 
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:52 
5Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:59 
6Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:12 
7Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:21 
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:27 
9Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:01:28 
10Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:01:29 
11Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank0:01:45 
12Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:23 
13Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS0:02:25 
14Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 930:02:28 
15Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:33 
16Marco Bianco (Ita)0:02:41 
17Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:47 
18Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus  
19Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:02:48 
20Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team0:03:09 
21Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:03:13 
22Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:03:24 
23Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:03:33 
24Egoitz Murgoitio (Spa)0:03:39 
25Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:03:43 
26Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans0:03:44 
27Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team0:03:50 
28Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:04:03 
29Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)0:04:27 
30Wilant van Gils (Ned) CX Nederland0:04:29 
31Kevin Cant (Bel) Van Goethem Prorace Cycling Team0:04:34 
32Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles0:04:40 
33Patrick Gaudy (Bel)0:05:33 
34Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team  
35Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:05:36 
36Rene Birkenfeld (Ger) Harvesterhude Rv0:05:42 
37Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:06:06 
38Marek Cichosz (Pol) Legia-Felt0:06:10 
39Mitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus  
40Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn)0:06:22 
41Rikke Dijkxhoorn (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof -1lap 
42Stijn Huys (Bel)  
43Isaac Suarez (Spa)  
44Bart Verschueren (Bel) Champion System LBS Team  
45Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder  
46Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor -2laps 
47Jody Crawforth (GBr) Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/Scott/GSI  
48Tom De Kort (Bel) APB Cycling Team  
49Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)  
50Sebastien Le Naour (Fra)  
51Florian Le Corré (Fra) Flers Cyclisme 61  
52Mitchell Hoke (USA) Clif Bar Development Team  
53Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace  
54Craig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue -3laps 
55Mark Lalonde (USA) Cal Giant-Specialized  
56Ryan Iddings (USA) Redline  
57Sean Babcock (USA) Kona  
58Fernandez Suarez (Spa)  
59Gianni Denolf (Bel) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team  
60Jimmy Tielens (Bel) Team Saeco Heist O/D Berg -4laps 
61Ryan Knapp (USA)  
62Hikaru Kosaka (Jpn)  
63Davy Yeater (USA) River City Bicycles-Cannondale  
64Shaun Adamson (Can) Cycle-Smart  
65Gareth Whittall (GBr) -5laps 
66David Andrew Quist (USA) Team Clif Bar Cycling  
Intermediate sprint
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet3pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team2 
3Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team1 
Fastest lap
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:06:49 
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:02 
3Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:03 
Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee standings after 5 rounds
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team106pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet102 
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team89 
4Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team81 
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus80 
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor76 
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team71 
8Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team49 
9Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team48 
10Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus47 
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team44 
12Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor36 
13Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus34 
14Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus32 
15Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team24 
16Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team20 
17Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team19 
18Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS19 
19Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus16 
20Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team16 
21Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team14 
22Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team14 
23Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike14 
24Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ13 
25Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank10 
26Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team9 
27Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles8 
28Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor7 
29Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 937 
30Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team6 
31Marco Bianco (Ita)6 
32Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team3 
33Romain Villa (Fra)2 
34Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing2 
35Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)1 
Sprint standings
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet11pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team7 
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team6 
4Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team2 
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus2 
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor2 

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