Nys dominant on the Koppenberg

Belgian captures eighth Koppenbergcross victory

Almost as if he had never been out of the picture Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) trounced his rivals in the mudfest up and around the Koppenberg during the second round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy. Due to the huge amounts of deep mud, the course was extremely tough. The 34-year-old Belgian champion didn't mind and dropped all his rivals during the first lap. He went on to destroy the opposition, exhibiting great skills and power while finding a way up and over the Koppenberg.

For Nys it was his eighth victory on the famous Flemish helling. Runner-up Niels Albert (BCKP-Powerplus) finished more than a minute behind the cyclo-cross legend, who hadn't won an important race this season. World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) finished fourth and remains leader in the GvA-Trophy.

“I'm not worn out yet,” Nys said, when asked about his performance and status after the demonstration he gave on Monday afternoon. “Many people were talking about my age and that it would no longer be possible for me to battle up against the new generation. I'll be living on a cloud for a couple of weeks now because I rate this one very high. It's almost as important as the world championships to me."

Two youth races and a women's race turned the peaceful meadows on the climb near Melden into a mud-clad war zone. American  cyclo-cross star Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) fancied his chances and he led the peloton through the first soaked meadow and then on to the Koppenberg. The unknown Italian rider Marco Bianco attacked on the cobbles but by the time the riders cornered right into the meadow on top of the Koppenberg, Page was back in the lead ahead of Nys, Stybar and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor).

Niels Albert missed his start and rode back in twentieth place and Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) was even riding outside the top-30. Nys accelerated for the first time near the top of the climb and he got away with Stybar and Vantornout, while Page went into the barriers on one of the first downhill corners and disappeared from the front. A little later, Vantornout dropped back into a group with Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team), Gerben de Knegt (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team) and a well-recovering Albert.

When riding through the last field before cornering into the home straight Nys dropped Stybar. In hindsight, that was the moment the race ended. Nys never looked back and rode consistently faster than his rivals. “After the first lap I realized that things were working out great. Halfway people were shouting to me that it was in the bag but of course I had to remain focused,” Nys said.

Going into the last lap the Belgian champion had a comfortable gap of more than a minute over Albert but then Nys punctured. “For a moment I panicked. I had to continue on that tyre for half a lap and I gave all I had left in my tank; I don't want to repeat that any more,” Nys said.

Second-placed Albert heard about Nys' problem but didn't feel that it affected Nys at all. “On the road it doesn't help you but on the climb it surely didn't bother him. We all ride with really low tyre pressures on this course; we all feel every cobble of the Koppenberg,” Albert told Cyclingnews. In the end Nys didn't lose a single second and clinched his eighth win in the Koppenbergcross, and his seventh in a row.

Pauwels claimed the last podium spot a minute and a half behind Nys and the quiet Belgian was more than happy with that. “Last year I would have finished well off the podium in those conditions. It means I've taken a big step forward. This was a good weekend for me,” Pauwels said.

Halfway through the race, Stybar crashed and for a moment he was riding in seventh place. “That's when I thought that my classification was in danger. At that moment I believed that I could get a much better result. During the second lap I made too many mistakes and I lost focus. Eventually I captured fourth place and I'm happy with that,” Stybar said.

The Czech leads the GvA-Trophy with 45 points, five points clear of the Belgians Pauwels and Vantornout. Stybar defends his position at the head of the classification on November 20 during the third round of the GvA-Trophy in Hasselt, Belgium.

Full Results
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet1:00:00 
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:07 
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:28 
4Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:08 
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:24 
6Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:02:46 
7Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:03:40 
8Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:04:02 
9Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus0:04:10 
10Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:04:26 
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:04:46 
12Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:04:56 
13Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team0:05:08 
14Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team0:05:17 
15Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:05:35 
16Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS0:06:00 
17Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:06:15 
18Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:06:53 
19Romain Villa (Fra)0:07:12 
20Marco Bianco (Ita)0:07:19 
21Ian Field (GBr) Hargrove Cycles0:07:26 
22Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:07:44 
23Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:07:47 
24Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans0:08:03 
25Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:08:52 
26Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:09:04 
27Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)-2laps 
28Patrick Gaudy (Bel)  
29Marek Cichosz (Pol)  
30Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team  
31Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team  
32Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor  
33Mitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus  
34Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus  
35Wilant van Gils (Ned) CX Nederland  
36Stijn Huys (Bel)  
37Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace-3laps 
38Kevin Cant (Bel)  
39Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team  
40Alberto Candelas Caballero (Spa)  
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet3pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus2 
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor1 
Fastest lap
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:08:21 
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:05 
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:07 
Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee classification after 2 rounds
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team45pts
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor40 
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team40 
4Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team30 
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team30 
6Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet28 
7Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus27 
8Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team27 
9Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus24 
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team20 
11Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team15 
12Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus14 
13Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team14 
14Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ13 
15Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor12 
16Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus11 
17Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team11 
18Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team11 
19Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team9 
20Ian Field (GBr) Hargrove Cycles8 
21Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS5 
22Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team4 
23Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor3 
24Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team3 
25Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team2 
26Romain Villa (Fra)2 
27Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)1 
28Marco Bianco (Ita)1 
Sprint classification
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet3 
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor2 
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team2 
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus2 

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