With a demonstration of tactical and technical skills Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) soloed to the win in the third round of the Bpost Bank Trophy cyclo-cross series in Hasselt, Belgium. Series leader Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) surprisingly lost a lot of time on Nys but the world champion remains the series leader.
The race will surely be remembered for an incident that occurred between Nys and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) as they hit a section of the course covered by tree trunks during the sixth of eight laps. Nys blew Pauwels out of the way. The latter went on to finish third at half a minute from Nys.
Niels Albert finished as runner-up at 14 seconds from Nys but he also lost twenty bonus seconds on the fast course. Albert only keeps 20 seconds from his pre-race lead of 54 seconds. That’s despite his statements that there was only the race in Baal where he potentially could lose time on Nys.
“I felt that Niels struggled [...]. You don’t have to go to the Koppenberg to create gaps,” Nys told Sporza after the race.
The first battle was already won by Nys during the second lap when he won the intermediate sprint, taking fifteen bonus seconds while Albert was lefty empty handed. The pace dropped a little but after an acceleration from Albert early on in the fourth lap the ‘big three’ - Albert, Nys and Pauwels - were gone.
In the sand section at the end of the lap Nys struggled and lost contact. Albert kept the pace high with Pauwels on his wheel thus keeping Nys at short distance in the following lap. After the race Nys declared that he didn’t close the gap in purpose to keep the pace high.
Eventually Nys bridged up to Albert and Pauwels early on in the sixth lap. Pauwels led Nys and Albert when approaching the following obstacle, the two tree trunks. Nys hopped the trunks much faster than Pauwels and overtook Pauwels. The latter appeared scared, locked up, and went over the handlebars on the second trunk. A lifted hand from Nys indicated his apologies.
“I had a lot more speed,” Nys said. “One of us went out of balance. I hesitated. I think I touched him with my elbows. I thought about waiting. It was a crash who could be avoided. It wasn’t in purpose.” Pauwels agreed. “It wasn’t in purpose. If I would’ve hopped there alone I wouldn’t have crashed though,” Pauwels told Sporza.
The crash didn’t keep Nys from dropping the pace. Pauwels quickly trailed the two leaders by eight seconds. A little later Albert lost a few meters on Nys but he kept the gap under control. When hitting the penultimate lap Albert trailed Nys by only a second, with Pauwels chasing at 10 seconds.
Nys extended his lead with a smooth ride through the first sand section and from there Albert started losing more ground. “I think I was the worst of the three but because Pauwels crashed I could finish second,” Albert told Sporza. “I didn’t have a great day. The classification will be made in Baal. I’m riding for every second. I lost a lot of those today and tried to control the damages.”
Klaas Vantornout was best of the rest, shortly after his team-mate Pauwels, holding off Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus) and Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea).
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony||0:54:49|
|2||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:00:14|
|3||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:00:30|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:00:36|
|5||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:00:38|
|6||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:00:40|
|7||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drinks-Leontien.nl Cycling Team||0:00:49|
|8||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:00:52|
|9||Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus||0:01:14|
|10||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:01:21|
|11||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink||0:01:25|
|12||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept||0:01:35|
|13||Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube|
|14||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus||0:01:49|
|15||Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:01:51|
|16||Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus||0:01:53|
|17||Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:01:56|
|18||Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling||0:02:14|
|19||Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team||0:02:26|
|20||Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony||0:02:57|
|21||Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL||0:02:59|
|22||Mitchell Huenders (Ned)|
|23||Kevin Cant (Bel)||0:03:06|
|24||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco||0:03:16|
|25||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony||0:03:25|
|26||Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team|
|27||Jonathan Page (USA)||0:03:44|
|28||Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole||0:03:55|
|29||Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized||0:04:29|
|30||Dries Pauwels (Bel) Melbotech Prorace CT||0:05:59|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus)||2:52:34|
|2||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony||0:00:20|
|3||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:02:38|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:03:38|
|5||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drinks-Leontien.nl Cycling Team||0:04:16|
|6||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:04:25|
|7||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned)||0:04:58|
|8||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:05:20|
|9||Aurelien Duval (Fra)||0:07:49|
|10||Marcel Meisen (Ger)||0:09:11|
|11||Simon Zahner (Swi)||0:09:16|
|12||Twan van den Brand (Ned)||0:09:21|
|13||Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:09:54|
|14||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept||0:10:51|
|15||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:10:55|
|16||Jonathan Page (USA)||0:11:30|
|17||Radomir Simunek (Cze)||0:11:31|
|18||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:11:38|
|19||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi)||0:11:48|
|20||Philipp Walsleben (Ger)||0:11:55|
|21||Mariusz Gil (Pol)||0:12:01|
|22||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony||0:12:08|
|23||Gerben de Knegt (Ned)||0:12:13|
|24||Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned)||0:12:31|
|25||Lubomir Petrus (Cze)||0:12:45|
|26||Lars van der Haar (Ned)||0:12:54|
|27||Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony||0:13:14|
|28||Martin Zlamalik (Cze)||0:13:16|
|29||Mitchell Huenders (Ned)|
|30||Kevin Cant (Bel)||0:13:23|