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Niels Albert secured overall success in the Bpost Bank Trofee series by winning the last cyclo-cross race of the season in Oostmalle, Belgium on Sunday afternoon.
The Belgian rider distanced the rest of the field after just two laps and he was never seen again. After winning the World Cup it’s Albert's second overall win in a cyclo-cross series. It was his third consecutive win in Oostmalle.
“The course suits me to perfection and I can always battle for the win here. It’s good to head into the holidays in these spirits. I didn’t win a championship but I’ve won two classifications and especially the World Cup jersey is a nice one,” Albert told Sporza.
The snow which caused the cancellation of the Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne road race didn’t affect the cyclo-cross riders but the cold and wet conditions turned the usually fast sand course in Oostmalle into a tricky challenge.
During the first lap Albert marked Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) as he made a blistering start. When Wellens faded Albert took over. Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) tried to keep up but the pace set by Albert turned out to be too fast for the Belgian champion.
By that time Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) was already distanced, partly due to a crash by Radomir Simunek (Kwadro-Stannah). The world champion announced before the race that he would race for at least two more years. He got into the first chase group but a last-lap collision with Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) sent down the final results. Nys eventually concluded his season with a distant ninth place.
“If I would’ve been on Albert his wheel then I would’ve tried to follow as long as possible. Maybe things would’ve been different. Simunek fell in front of me and then the gap was too big. Albert was the strongest today and I fell short. I no longer have the form to go flat out two days in a row. That’s not a shame since I didn’t train a lot the last few weeks,” Nys admitted to Sporza.
Vantornout, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), young Jim Aernouts (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Bart Aernouts (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) were all in the action for different reasons.
Aernouts lost a lot of ground with mechanical problems but secured his first major podium place. The three Sunweb-Napoleon Games riders were battling for second place but then Pauwels crashed head-first into the sand, vented a lot of frustration and left the race. Vantornout finished 16 seconds behind Albert. Simunek won the sprint for fifth place ahead of Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus) and Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus). Wellens was eighth ahead of Thijs Al, Nys and Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea).
In the final standings of the Bpost Bank Trofee series Albert has a significant 7:53 lead on Vantornout. Despite abandoning the last event, Pauwels is third at 10:42, twelve seconds ahead of Peeters. Wellens gained just enough time on Nys to sneak ahead of him in the standings in fifth.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Niels Albert (Bel)||1:00:27|
|2||Klaas Vantornout (Bel)||0:00:16|
|3||Jim Aernouts (Bel)||0:00:23|
|4||Radomir Simunek (Cze)||0:00:31|
|5||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel)|
|6||Philipp Walsleben (Ger)||0:00:34|
|7||Bart Wellens (Bel)||0:00:39|
|8||Thijs Al (Ned)||0:00:46|
|9||Sven Nys (Bel)||0:01:01|
|10||Rob Peeters (Bel)||0:01:15|
|11||Bart Aernouts (Bel)||0:01:22|
|12||Tom Meeusen (Bel)||0:01:32|
|13||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel)|
|14||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel)||0:01:36|
|15||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi)||0:01:38|
|16||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned)||0:01:49|
|17||Jonathan Page (USA)||0:02:01|
|18||Gerben de Knegt (Ned)||0:02:02|
|19||Joeri Adams (Bel)||0:02:05|
|20||Marcel Meisen (Ger)||0:02:15|
|21||Twan van den Brand (Ned)||0:02:20|
|22||Kevin Cant (Bel)||0:02:34|
|23||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel)||0:03:08|
|24||Mariusz Gil (Pol)||0:03:13|
|25||Micki van Empel (Ned)||0:03:16|
|26||Niels Wubben (Ned)||0:03:17|
|27||Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)||0:03:19|
|28||Bart Verschueren (Bel)||0:03:27|
|29||Simon Zahner (Swi)||0:03:30|
|30||Stef Boden (Bel)||0:03:48|
|31||Stijn Huys (Bel)||0:04:12|
|32||Ian Field (GBr)||0:04:14|
|33||Bart Hofman (Bel)||0:04:15|
|34||Kristof Cop (Bel)||0:04:44|
|35||Sven Beelen (Bel)||0:05:15|
|-1lap||Tom Van den Bosch (Bel)|
|-3laps||Edwin De Wit (Bel)|