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Denuwelaere slides to muddy victory

Brecht Decaluwé

Cant powers to women's win

The cyclo-cross mudfest in Essen, Belgium was a pure thriller with a sensational finale. Riders tackled the toughest of courses while rain continuously made the course harder. Underdog Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept) timed his sprint to perfection but when he got off of the wheel of former cyclo-cross world champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), the Czech forced him into the barriers. Denuwelaere crashed, but while sliding he threw himself and his bike towards the line. It was barely enough to finish just ahead of Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) and world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) since Stybar was later disqualified.

The win in the fourth round of the Bpost Bank Trofee series is a career highlight for 24-year-old Denuwelaere. It's no secret that the former motocross rider deals well with muddy courses, but in Essen he gave away a demonstration. Halfway the race he joined the leaders and from there he comfortably put them in trouble. That was until he was put into the barriers. The tall Belgian made clear that he would be very disappointed if he wouldn't be declared the winner.

A few minutes later he was declared winner by jury president Wilfred Haan. "Stybar is relegated to fourth place. The photo finish shows that Denuwelaere was the first to cross the line. It wasn't a hard decision," Haan told Sporza.

Denuwelaere was delighted with the outcome. "Despite knowing I would be in pain, the only thing I could think about was throwing my bike over the line, especially because for once I was battling for the win. What happened? Stybar went to the left, then more. It was too late to brake. It was an illegal move. I'm good in the mud but not every weekend needs to be this tough," Denuwelaere said.

Last year, Denuwelaere captured one of his few wins in a much-discussed sprint against then cyclo-cross world champion Stybar at the small event in Bredene. This time around Stybar didn't allow Denuwelaere to overtake him. The Czech was enjoying mixed emotions after his cyclo-cross debute in his Belgian hometown of Essen. "It's very sad. It was a beautiful 'cross. Jan was very strong. What happened is very sad. I didn’t want to make him crash. I'm glad he's not injured. I moved to the left. I saw him coming but he came much faster than I expected. I tried to balance with the shoulders. I didn't train for the 'cross so I'm very happy that I was able to battle for the win. It's weird that without specific training, I was able to mix in," Stybar told Sporza.

Halfway through the race, the duo started leading the contest in Essen. They took over the command from usual suspects, Albert and Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony). Nys won the intermediate sprint after one and a half laps, taking five bonus seconds on series leader Albert. Nys later lost touch with the leaders after riding into a pole and dropping his chain on a 180-degree corner.

Albert faded a little halfway through the race but recovered towards the end. Eventually he finished fourth in the sprint, shaking his head while crossing the line but eventually being put in third place. "Sven and I killed each other in the first laps for the intermediate sprint. I needed a lot of time to recover from that. I should've waited a bit longer and put everything on the finish," Albert said. Despite not having enough left in his tank for the finish, Albert did a great job with regard to the Bpost Bank Trofee series, putting Nys back from 20 seconds to 47 seconds in the general classification.

Third-placed Rob Peeters was pleased about his race although he felt that more was possible. "It was the most exciting race of the season. I tried to start off easy. It took awhile before I joined the leaders. Two laps from the finish, I went flat out. In the forest, I tumbled and that's where I lost it," Peeters told Sporza.

The few spectators who dared to challenge the tough weather circumstances returned home after having witnessed what was arguably the best race of the season. It is expected that the race in Essen will be kept out of the Bpost Bank Trofee series next year. However, today's spectacular contest may change organizer's minds.

The next round in the Bpost Bank Trofee will be held next week at the Spades-cross in Loenhout.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept 1:00:05  
2 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea    
3 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:00:01  
4 Zdenek Stybar (Cze)    
5 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 0:00:32  
6 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:00:55  
7 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink 0:01:04  
8 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
9 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:01:42  
10 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:01:46  
11 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team 0:02:09  
12 Jonathan Page (USA) 0:02:12  
13 Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 0:02:26  
14 Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:02:39  
15 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:02:57  
16 Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet-Fidea 0:03:16  
17 Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube 0:03:36  
18 Mitchell Huenders (Ned) 0:03:43  
19 Stef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:03:45  
20 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Cycling Team 0:03:53  
21 Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:03:56  
22 Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole 0:04:04  
23 Kevin Cant (Bel) 0:04:15  
24 Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling 0:04:20  
25 Dave De Cleyn (Bel) 0:05:33  
26 Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea 0:05:44  
27 Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:06:34  
28 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) 0:07:27  
29 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept 0:07:33  
30 Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized 0:07:49  
31 Jeremy Durrin (USA) JAM Fund / NCC    
Elite women
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm - BKCP Veldtritacademie 0:42:00  
2 Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Team 0:00:12  
3 Nikki Harris (GBr) Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team 0:00:22  
4 Gabriella Day (GBr) Rapha-Focus 0:00:36  
5 Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Melbotech Prorace CT 0:01:10  
6 Katerina Nash (Cze) 0:01:15  
7 Githa Michiels (Bel) 0:02:52  
8 Reza Hormes (Ned) 0:03:25  
9 Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Fra) Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team 0:03:33  
10 Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Wielerteam Decock Sportivo Moorsele 0:03:48  
11 Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team 0:04:07  
12 Kim Van de Steene (Bel) Kon. VC T Meetjesland-Knesselare 0:04:28  
13 Liesbet De Vocht (Bel) 0:04:55  
14 Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept 0:05:12  
15 Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned) 0:05:17  
16 Monique van de Ree (Ned) Skil-Argos 0:06:04  
17 Lotte Eikelenboom (Ned) 0:06:26  
18 Nicole Thiemann (USA) Team CF 0:06:42  
19 Thalita De Jong (Ned) 0:07:03  
20 Esmee Oosterman (Ned) 0:07:25  
21 Margriet Kloppenburg (Den) BMC Concept Store 0:08:00  
22 Stephanie De Croock (Bel) 0:08:07  
23 Nathalie Nijns (Bel) 0:08:54  
24 Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco 0:09:04  
25 Katrien Thijs (Bel) K. Edegem Bicycle Club 0:09:14  
26 Kristien Nelen (Bel) Houffalize Granville Team 0:09:20  
27 Suzie Godart (Lux) CCI Differdange 0:09:38  
28 Femke Van Den Driessche 0:09:47  
29 Ilona Meter (Ned)    
30 Shana Maes (Bel) Kriekel Cycling Team Tessenderlo    
31 Caren Commissaris (Bel)    
32 Marijke De Pauw (Bel) WK Noord West Brabant    
33 Anja Geldhof (Bel) WIMI-Games/St Martinus CT    
34 Tine Verdeyen (Bel) Vlaams-Brabanstse Afdeling    
35 Lene Vrijsen (Bel)    
36 Axelle Dubau Prevot (Fra)    
37 Sandie Verriest (Bel)    
38 Maggie Van Beeumen (Bel) VZW Ijsklokje Cycling    
U23 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet - Fidea 0:48:53  
2 Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:00:08  
3 Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:00:12  
4 Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 0:00:24  
5 Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:00:40  
6 Tijmen Eising (Ned) Sunweb-Revor 0:00:51  
7 Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:01:11  
8 Jens Adams (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:01:26  
9 Diether Sweeck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 0:01:41  
10 Toon Aerts (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 0:01:48  
11 David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus 0:02:04  
12 Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:02:31  
13 Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:02:32  
14 Quentin Jauregui (Fra) 0:03:27  
15 Kenneth Hansen (Den) Christina Watches-Onfone 0:03:50  
16 Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) 0:04:01  
17 Yorben Van Tichelt (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:04:25  
18 Niels Koyen (Bel) 0:04:36  
19 Tim Ariesen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:04:48  
20 Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel) 0:05:02  
21 Dario Stauble (Swi) 0:05:25  
22 Matthias Bossuyt (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:05:48  
23 Pjotr van Beek (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:06:22  
24 Niels Van den Driessche (Bel) 0:06:49  
25 Luke Gray (GBr) Trek Cyclocross Collective 0:06:55  
26 Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team NSP-Ghost 0:07:13  
27 Erik Kramer (Ned)    
28 Arno Brocatus (Bel)    
29 Sieen Veestraeten (Bel)    
30 Mike De Bie (Bel)    
31 Mike Castel (Ned)    
32 Niels Verdijck (Bel)    
33 Max Wemmers (Bel)    
Junior men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) 0:40:40  
2 Martijn Budding (Ned) 0:00:57  
3 Yannick Peeters (Bel) 0:01:22  
4 Jonas Degroote (Bel) 0:01:55  
5 Stan Wijkel (Ned) 0:02:02  
6 Kobe Goossens (Bel) 0:02:10  
7 Stijn Caluwe (Bel) 0:02:20  
8 Ben Boets (Bel) 0:02:30  
9 Kevin Dupont (Bel) 0:02:46  
10 Richard Jansen (Ned) 0:03:02  
11 Din Van den Driessche (Bel) 0:03:10  
12 Thijs Aerts (Bel) 0:03:26  
13 Ward Van Laer (Bel) 0:03:36  
14 Alexander Ameel (Bel) 0:03:48  
15 Valentin Ortillon (Fra) 0:04:35  
16 Björn van der Heijden (Ned) 0:05:00  
17 Kyle De Proost (Bel) 0:05:06  
18 Sieben Wouters (Ned) 0:05:12  
19 Pieter Van Roosbroeck (Bel) 0:05:26  
20 Vincent Peeters (Bel) 0:05:28  
21 Lennert Van Hasselt (Bel) 0:05:36  
22 Sybren Jaocbs (Bel) 0:05:41  
23 Yves Coolen (Bel) 0:05:50  
24 Seppe Gorrens (Bel)    
25 Jorn Verbraken (Bel) 0:05:59  
26 Jens Dierckx (Bel)    
27 Braam Lehvi (Ned) 0:06:07  
28 Jordi Andries (Bel) 0:06:40  
29 Rob van Broekhoven (Ned)    
30 Joran Mertens (Bel) 0:06:53  
31 Lucas Wollenhaupt (Ger) 0:07:00  
-1lap Luc Turchi (Lux)    
-1lap Ian McPherson (USA)    
-1lap Jens Dierckx (Bel)    
-1lap Jelle Vanden Dries (Bel)    
-1lap Tim Janssen (Ned)    
-1lap Alec Spencer Downing (USA)    
-1lap Senne De Meyer (Bel)    
-1lap Dennis Celen    
-1lap Jordi Van Dingenen (Bel)    
-1lap Jordi De Greef (Bel)    
-2laps Magnus Tholstrup Skjoth (Den)    
-2laps Laurens Boden (Bel)    
-2laps Gianni Vermeiren (Bel)    
-2laps Joe Wirtz (Lux)    
-2laps Wesley van Steen (Ned)    
-3laps Brent Peeters (Bel)    
-3laps Pieter Cools (Bel)