The last round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy in Oostmalle – also the last cyclo-cross race of the season - ended in a thrilling climax, with Niels Albert(BKCP-Powerplus) winning after a long solo move.
“I'm glad that I can end the season this way. It might seem easy and some will say that I simply received the victory but besides Nys and Pauwels there were other riders in the race too,” Albert said.
Behind the Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) got the upper hand over Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) in an exciting duel for the overall victory in the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy. Before the race, only two points separated the two protagonists. Until half a lap before the end Nys and Pauwels were exchanging elbows while trying to obtain the best possible position.
Pauwels' flat tyre in the last lap ended the contest as he wasn't able to bounce back to the group that sprinted for second place.
Zdenek Stybar(Telenet-Fidea) edged out Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Offroad) and a jubilant Nys, who claimed his eighth overall win in the GvA Trophy.
Before that Pauwels received help from all his team-mates at Telenet-Fidea but neither world champion Stybar or Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) were able to hold off Nys.
“I'm unbelievably pleased with this victory. Mentally it was a very tough battle, especially on a course like this. Even without Kevin's flat tyre I was in an ideal position to come out winning. It was tight though,” Nys said.
In the first lap the contenders were missing from the front as Eddy van Ijzendoorn (AA-Drinks) claimed the hole shot ahead of Jonathan Page(Planetbike).
The latter was dropped by the Dutchman who led the race for most of the first lap. By the end of the lap Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) bridged across to Van Ijzendoorn and a few seconds behind this duo a large group formed.
When starting the second lap Page disappeared from the front as Nys blasted forward and closed the gap to the leaders. The intermediate sprint for three bonus points was looming and Pauwels was suddenly spotted standing next to his bike repairing his rear brake.
“I made a mistake and hit my brake with my foot. The points were gone so I figured I could take my time to repair it,” Pauwels said. Stybar won the sprint ahead of Nys and Peeters. The new intermediate standings put Nys four points ahead of Pauwels.
Nys kept the pace high to give Pauwels a hard time in his efforts to get back to the front. He needed one lap to bridge back up with Nys.
The latter then allowed other riders to attack. Bart Aernouts was the first one but he was brought back by Stybar. During the fifth lap Albert attacked together with Gerben de Knegt (Rabobank-Giant Offroad). Albert left De Knegt behind and the 25-year-old created a sizeable gap over the main chase group where Nys took his foot off the gas.
With four laps to go Albert had a gap of 16 seconds on a group of nine chasers. The tension in the chase group was mounting as Stybar and Pauwels tried to get ahead of Nys. Sometimes Pauwels sneaked through a small gap but Nys always bounced back.
While heading towards the final laps the situation remained the same as Nys always allowed one rider to pass him before blocking the way for Pauwels. Both Stybar and Wellens broke clear but every time they looked back and dropped back into the group. In the last lap Pauwels was perfectly on Nys' wheel when he punctured. Though Stybar tried to make everybody come to a complete standstill on a sharp corner Nys was able to sneak through a small gap and power away. Albert easily held on to his lead and the win. Half a minute later Stybar and Nys started the sprint but once Nys noticed that Pauwels was nowhere to be seen he raised his hands and allowed Aernouts to pass.
Pauwels eventually rolled across the line ninth place. “I wasn't very lucky today. I lost my focus and didn't even know that the race was over,” Pauwels said. Because of his bad result Pauwels not only missed out on the overall win but also the second place was gone as Stybar passed him, making Pauwels lose out on even more prize money.
American rider Page was best of the rest and finished eleventh. “I was closing the gap on the main group but then Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Revor) rode ahead of me when he blew up and lost contact. I was disappointed not to be in the group,” Page said.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||0:57:27|
|2||Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:27|
|3||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||0:00:28|
|4||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet||0:00:29|
|5||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:31|
|6||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:34|
|7||Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||0:00:35|
|8||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:00:36|
|9||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:37|
|10||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:40|
|11||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike||0:01:07|
|12||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||0:01:11|
|13||Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:01:13|
|14||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:01:32|
|15||Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:01:53|
|16||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:01:59|
|17||Marco Bianco (Ita)||0:02:07|
|18||Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:02:15|
|19||Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ||0:02:23|
|20||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus||0:02:30|
|21||Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor||0:02:31|
|22||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team||0:02:48|
|23||Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team||0:02:54|
|24||Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS|
|25||Kevin Cant (Bel)||0:02:59|
|26||Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles||0:03:03|
|27||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||0:03:04|
|28||Bart Verschueren (Bel)||0:03:44|
|29||Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)||0:03:49|
|30||Mitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus||0:03:51|
|31||Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:03:54|
|32||Patrick Gaudy (Bel)||0:03:58|
|33||Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:04:26|
|34||Mike Thielemans (Bel)||0:04:53|
|35||Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace|
|-1lap||Stijn Huys (Bel)|
|-1lap||Bart Hofman (Bel)|
|-1lap||Joachim Parbo (Den) Kch Leopard Cycles|
|-2laps||Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans|
|-2laps||Gianni Denolf (Bel) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet||169||pts|
|2||Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||163|
|3||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||160|
|4||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||141|
|5||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||129|
|6||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||121|
|7||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||90|
|8||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||86|
|9||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||81|
|10||Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||66|
|11||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||62|
|12||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus||60|
|13||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||53|
|14||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||43|
|15||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team||41|
|16||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike||38|
|17||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||29|
|18||Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||29|
|19||Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS||28|
|20||Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||25|
|21||Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||20|
|22||Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||19|
|23||Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||19|
|24||Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus||16|
|25||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team||16|
|26||Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor||15|
|27||Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ||15|
|28||Marco Bianco (Ita)||14|
|29||Lars Boom (Ned)||10|
|30||Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||9|
|31||Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team||9|
|32||Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles||8|
|33||Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 93||7|
|34||Davy Commeyne (Bel)||4|
|35||Romain Villa (Fra)||2|
|36||Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing||2|
|37||Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)||1|