Nys triumphs in Loenhout

Albert maintains GvA series lead

Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago) won a muddy version of the Spades Cross in Loenhout, the fifth round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy, ahead of Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team). World champion Albert remains in the lead of the GvA Trophy with 121 points, five more than Nys and 13 more than Stybar.

This season Nys has run into all sorts of bad luck in the World Cup and the Superprestige Series, and added a collision with Albert and a crash to that list in Loenhout. Still, the Belgian champion managed to bounce back in muddy Loenhout and, thanks to his win, the 33-year-old Belgian is still in contention for the overall title in the GvA Trophy.

The three protagonists of cyclo-cross, Albert, Nys and Stybar, headed into the last lap together. Stybar was the first to be dropped while plowing through the mud. Then, Nys powered through a technical section on his bike where Albert dabbed his foot on the ground on a short climb. Nys held on to the seven-second gap and grabbed his ninth victory of the season.

"I won, with some juddering again, but I won. The last lap was an explosion of power, similar to what I did in Zolder and what I planned to do in Diegem," Nys told Sporza. "Early on I couldn't avoid Albert when he got stuck in the tape. I lost too many points because of that [in the intermediate sprint-ed.]. Then I slid out on a dangerous section at the bridge, but I wasn't bothered by all that.

"I had confidence and kept my composure because I knew I could win the race. It was a matter of making no more mistakes and being in front when I had to be there. I'm happy that I've re-found my strength and that I'm doing a good job for the [GvA] classification."

Runner-up Albert endured a tumultuous race in which he got stuck in the course tape plus got into an argument with Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank) and apparently also the crowd. "The cold and wetness was ok, I was more bothered by the pints of beer that were poured on top of me," Albert said.

At the end of the second lap Albert led the chase on sole leader Stybar. When Albert hit the finishing straight towards the intermediate sprint Dutchman De Knegt grabbed a bonus point away from the Belgian; the world champion responded with a middle finger and a fierce attack. "That was so weak from Gerben," Albert told Sporza. "I was leading those guys on the road, trying to get back on Zdenek and at the end of the road he comes to take the points. At that moment it was ridiculous. I'm sure he can use the points too, but then he should've worked on the road."

When asked about the final lap and how he lost touch with winner Nys, Albert said, "I made a small mistake. Sven took twenty meters and that was it."

Thanks to an early solo attack Stybar grabbed three bonus points at the intermediate sprint after two laps. In the end the Czech fell short and finished third, well ahead of fourth placed De Knegt. "During the last couple of laps I suffered from the cold. I made a mistake during the last lap and the other two were gone. It was matter of seconds but they were decisive," Stybar said.

The Czech champion is now trailing GvA series leader Albert by thirteen points but Stybar didn't mind that too much. "I'm happy that I finished on the podium once again," Stybar said, despite the fact that in Loenhout the gap between the three protagonists and the rest was once again huge.

Early on, Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP - Powerplus) was able to keep up with Nys, Albert and Stybar and he seemed to be working his way towards a surprising fourth place finish. Vanthourenhout's hopes were dashed, however, when he exchanged his bike in the pit and received a bike with a flat tyre.

De Knegt took advantage of the situation to grab fourth place while Vanthourenhout ended up battling in a group that featured Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team), Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas) and Rob Peeters (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago). The latter won the sprint for fifth place ahead of Vanthourenhout, Wellens and Franzoi.

Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team), winner of the World Cup round in Zolder and third in Diegem, had an off-day and finished only sixteenth in the mud at Loenhout.

The next round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy is held in Baal, on January 1 of the new year.

Full results
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago1:02:25 
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:08 
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:17 
4Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank0:01:21 
5Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago0:01:42 
6Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:45 
7Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:47 
8Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas0:01:50 
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank0:01:54 
10Christian Heule (Swi) Rendementhypo Cycling Team0:01:58 
11Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:02 
12Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:02:17 
13Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:02:34 
14Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team  
15Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Baboco-Revor0:02:45 
16Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:50 
17Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom0:02:57 
18Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie0:03:12 
19Bram Schmitz (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Advocaten - Elshof  
20Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drinks Cycling Team0:03:13 
21Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Power Plus0:04:09 
22James Driscoll (USA) Cyclocrossworld.com / Cannondale0:04:13 
23Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida0:04:35 
24Ben Berden (Bel) Revor Cycling Team0:04:51 
25Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team0:05:03 
26Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Continental Team Differdange0:05:15 
27Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team0:05:20 
28José-Antonio Hermida (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:05:46 
29Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV0:05:58 
30Troy Wells (USA) Clif Bar0:06:03 
31Marek Chicosz (Pol)0:06:21 
32Jody Crawforth (GBr) Arctic - Premier RT0:06:25 
33Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel0:06:29 
34Bart Verschueren (Bel) Revor Continental Team0:06:43 
35Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:06:51 
36Ralph Näf (Swi) Multivan Merida Biking Team0:06:58 
37Wim Leemans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:07:23 
38Johannes Sickmüller (Ger) Stevens Cyclocross Team Hamburg0:07:58 
39Rudi Van Houts (Ned) TWC Tempo0:08:09 
40Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn) -1lap 
41Magnus Darvell (Swe)  
42Clement Lhotellerie (Fra)  
43Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder  
44Lukáš Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb-Projob  
45Michael Opitz (Cze)  
46Yann Le Queau (Fra) Brest Iroise Cyclisme 2000  
47Paul Voß (Ger) Team Milram  
48Sebastien Le Naour (Fra)  
49Justin Lindine (USA) Bikereg.com/Joe's Garage/IF  
50Martin Haring (Svk)  
51Osmond Bakker (Can) EMDSerono-Specialized  
52Torsten Wittig (Ger)  
53Robert Glajza (Svk) -3laps 
54Bolbaatar Bold-Erdene (Mgl) Snow Leopard  
55Masashi Matsui (Jpn) -4laps 
56Ariunbold Naranbal (Mgl) Snow Leopard  
DNFJeremy Powers (USA) Cyclocrossworld.com / Cannondale  
DNFFabio Ursi (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito  
DNFAndreas Kugler (Swi) Coop BMC  
DNFJavier Ruiz De Larrinaga (Spa)  
DNFMarco Bianco (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team  
DNFGusty Bausch (Lux) LC Kayl  
DNFMickael Bleuzen (Fra)  
DNFMark Freudenberg (Ger)  
DNFMilan Barenyi (Svk)  
DNFBram Wind (Ned) ORC Janvan Arckel  
DNFQuentin Bertholet (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team  
DNFMarco Ponta (Ita)  
Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee standings after round 5
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus121pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago116 
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team108 
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team76 
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank73 
6Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank69 
7Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus64 
8Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob61 
9Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus51 
10Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas48 
11Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Baboco-Revor41 
12Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago37 
13Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drinks Cycling Team29 
14Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob26 
15Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie26 
16Christian Heule (Swi) Rendementhypo Cycling Team21 
17Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team20 
18Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team17 
19Ben Berden (Bel) Revor Cycling Team15 
20Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux15 
21Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team14 
22Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team12 
23Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike11 
24Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team10 
25Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida9 
26Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV7 
27Marco Bianco (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team7 
28Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/GSI4 
29Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team4 
30Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom4 
31Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team3 
32Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Power Plus2 
33Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team2 
34Bram Schmitz (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Advocaten - Elshof2 
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