Nys fights back in Bpost Bank Trophy

Albert remains series leader

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).

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:54:49 
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:14 
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:30 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:36 
5Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:38 
6Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:40 
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drinks-Leontien.nl Cycling Team0:00:49 
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:52 
9Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:14 
10Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:21 
11Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink0:01:25 
12Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:01:35 
13Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube  
14Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:49 
15Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:51 
16Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:53 
17Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:01:56 
18Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling0:02:14 
19Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:02:26 
20Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:02:57 
21Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:02:59 
22Mitchell Huenders (Ned)  
23Kevin Cant (Bel)0:03:06 
24Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco0:03:16 
25Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:03:25 
26Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team  
27Jonathan Page (USA)0:03:44 
28Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:03:55 
29Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:04:29 
30Dries Pauwels (Bel) Melbotech Prorace CT0:05:59 
Elite men's classification after Hassalt
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus)2:52:34 
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:00:20 
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:38 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:03:38 
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drinks-Leontien.nl Cycling Team0:04:16 
6Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:04:25 
7Thijs van Amerongen (Ned)0:04:58 
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:05:20 
9Aurelien Duval (Fra)0:07:49 
10Marcel Meisen (Ger)0:09:11 
11Simon Zahner (Swi)0:09:16 
12Twan van den Brand (Ned)0:09:21 
13Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:09:54 
14Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:10:51 
15Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:10:55 
16Jonathan Page (USA)0:11:30 
17Radomir Simunek (Cze)0:11:31 
18Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:11:38 
19Julien Taramarcaz (Swi)0:11:48 
20Philipp Walsleben (Ger)0:11:55 
21Mariusz Gil (Pol)0:12:01 
22Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:12:08 
23Gerben de Knegt (Ned)0:12:13 
24Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned)0:12:31 
25Lubomir Petrus (Cze)0:12:45 
26Lars van der Haar (Ned)0:12:54 
27Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:13:14 
28Martin Zlamalik (Cze)0:13:16 
29Mitchell Huenders (Ned)  
30Kevin Cant (Bel)0:13:23 

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