Albert wins in Ronse

Pauwels becomes first series leader despite defeat in Ronse

About 10,000 cyclo-cross spectators gathered around the muddy Hotondberg in Ronse to attend the opening round of the Bpost Bank Trofee Veldrijden, the GP Mario De Clercq. World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) claimed a hard-fought win just ahead of last year's winner Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor). Thanks to a first place at the intermediate sprint, it is Pauwels who becomes the first leader of the Trofee despite finishing four seconds short of Albert at the finish line.

"It was very hard course. There's no single meter for recovery. Halfway the race I felt that I was the strongest but in the end I struggled," Albert told Sporza.

Albert and Pauwels dominated the hilly race on the muddy meadows of the Hotondberg.

The first half of the race was marked by a false start from Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor), who was later in the picture again but then had two crashes. "I'm not the most technical rider in the peloton. It was spectacular, but it didn't hurt me," Vantornout said. At the intermediate sprint, halfway the second lap, sole leader Pauwels took 15 bonus seconds while Albert grabbed five seconds for his third place. Later the world champion caught up with Pauwels, and together they headed off.

By then, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet), who got a poor start, steadily moved out of the top 20 and led the chase on the leading duo at about 20 seconds. The gap increased a little lap by lap until halfway the race when Nys and Bart Aernouts (AA-Drink) realized they were never going to get back to the front.

In the second half of the race, Albert had the upper hand. He slowly gained a few metres on Pauwels, built up a lead of 11 seconds but then ran out of gas in the final laps. Eventually Albert reached the finish line with a small bonus on Pauwels. With Pauwels not far behind, he had nothing nothing left in his tank to celebrate his win.

Initially, it wasn't clear who would be the first leader since Pauwels finished at four or five seconds following Albert. If the gap was four seconds, then Pauwels would be leader, if it was up to five, then Albert would lead. While being interviewed by Sporza, Albert was informed that the final verdict favoured Pauwels. "The crap starts already. [...] If they don't know it after the first race. ... It changed five times in a few minutes," Albert said.

The new overall classification system awards riders for time gaps rather than their actual placing in a race. Albert acknowledged that it changed the racing style.

Despite finishing as runner-up at the finish line, Kevin Pauwels will not be disappointed with his performance in Ronse. He rode the fastest lap of the race, offering him a nice 1000-euro bonus and his intermediate sprint win eventually put him into the overall lead in the competition.

"I knew I had to finish within five seconds. I gave it all to get into that time gap. He was better in the running sections, especially at the end," Pauwels told Sporza.

About a minute later, an unemotional Nys crossed the finish line in third place. Last week's winner of the Superprestige race in Ruddervoorde was unable to mix in for the win and according to the 36-year-old, that was due to a false start.

"I made one mistake today, and it cost me my good start position. I shouldn't have started. It was a false start. Klaas goes and then stops. It happened and then my race was over. I rode around a bit frustrated during the first lap. Then I kept riding at 20 seconds. Then I focused on third place. I overtook half a peloton but the two others were gone. Like I said before, I will not focus on the classification and aim for victories," Nys said.

The next round in the series will be held on the Koppenberg in Oudenaarde in three weeks.

Full Results

Elite men
1 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:57:31  
2 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:00:04  
3 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 0:01:09  
4 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:01:22  
5 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:01:52  
6 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:01:58  
7 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:02:07  
8 Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team 0:02:38  
9 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:02:52  
10 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:02:57  
11 Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:03:08  
12 Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team 0:03:13  
13 Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team 0:03:18  
14 Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus 0:03:20  
15 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 0:03:26  
16 Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco 0:03:29  
17 Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:03:30  
18 Jonathan Page (USA) 0:03:31  
19 Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:03:52  
20 Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:04:08  
21 Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube 0:04:43  
22 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:05:01  
23 Dave De Cleyn (Bel) 0:05:06  
24 Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized 0:05:08  
25 Bart Hofman (Bel) Afdeling Oost-Vlaanderen WBV-VZW    
26 Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea 0:05:10  
27 Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea 0:05:13  
28 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept 0:05:19  
29 Kevin Eeckhout (Bel) 0:05:43  
30 Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept 0:06:53  
-2laps Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL    
-2laps Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus    
-2laps Stijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling Team    
-3laps Stef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
-3laps Mathieu Willemyns (Bel)    
-3laps Gianni Denolf (Bel) Cyclingchamps    
-4laps Alexander Revell (NZl) Revolution Bicycles    
DNF Kevin Cant (Bel)    
DNF Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus    
DNF Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea    
DNF Sven Beelen (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
DNF Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
DNF Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling    
DNF Kyle F Kiser (USA)    
Elite men intermediate sprint
1 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 15 seconds
2 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 10  
3 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 5  
U23 men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) 53:16:00  
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) 0:00:13  
3 Corné van Kessel (Ned) 0:00:16  
4 Jens Adams (Bel)    
5 Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) 0:00:20  
6 Mike Teunissen (Ned) 0:01:02  
7 Toon Aerts (Bel) 0:01:13  
8 Vinnie Braet (Bel) 0:01:25  
9 Tim Merlier (Bel) 0:01:32  
10 Laurens Sweeck (Bel) 0:01:42  
11 Karel Hnik (Cze) 0:01:50  
12 Wietse Bosmans (Bel) 0:02:50  
13 Emiel Dolfsma (Ned) 0:03:03  
14 Ritchie Denolf (Bel) 0:03:13  
15 Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) 0:03:18  
16 Joeri Hofman (Bel) 0:03:23  
17 Daan Soete (Bel) 0:03:27  
18 Yorben Van Tichelt (Bel) 0:03:38  
19 David van der Poel (Ned) 0:03:51  
20 Matthias Van de Velde (Bel) 0:04:06  
21 Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) 0:05:04  
22 Jonathan Lastra (Spa) 0:05:10  
23 Matthias Bossuyt (Bel) 0:05:24  
24 Hendrik Sweeck (Bel) 0:06:40  
25 Niels Koyen (Bel) 0:06:47  
-1lap Lorenzo Pepermans (Bel)    
-1lap Glenn Maes (Bel)    
-1lap Jens Couckuyt (Bel)    
-2laps Kevin Neirynck (Bel)    
-2laps Pieter Dewitte (Bel)    
-2laps Laudelino Lammens (Bel)    
-2laps Stig Callay (Bel)    
-3laps Kenneth Van Dessel (Bel)    
-3laps Jellen Schiettecatte (Bel)    
-4laps Dries De Vos (Bel)    
Junior men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) 0:41:52  
2 Quinten Hermans (Bel) 0:00:59  
3 Martijn Budding (Ned) 0:01:12  
4 Nicolas Cleppe (Bel) 0:01:26  
5 Jonas Degroote (Bel) 0:02:15  
6 Ben Boets (Bel) 0:02:31  
7 Yannick Peeters (Bel) 0:03:03  
8 Gianni Van Donink (Bel) 0:03:07  
9 Stijn Caluwe (Bel) 0:03:23  
10 Thomas Joseph (Bel) 0:03:27  
11 Elias Van Hecke (Bel) 0:03:41  
12 Alexander Ameel (Bel) 0:03:42  
13 Stef Claeys (Bel) 0:04:09  
14 Kobe Goossens (Bel) 0:04:17  
15 Ward Van Laer (Bel) 0:04:21  
16 Richard Jansen (Ned) 0:04:34  
17 Thijs Aerts (Bel) 0:04:46  
18 Bjorn van der Heijden (Ned) 0:05:03  
19 Jens Teirlinck (Bel) 0:05:08  
20 Seppe Gorrens (Bel) 0:05:20  
21 Arne Poelvoorde (Bel) 0:05:26  
22 Jelle Schuermans (Bel) 0:05:33  
23 Gianni Quintelier (Bel) 0:05:39  
24 Stan Wijkel (Ned) 0:05:51  
25 Yves Coolen (Bel) 0:06:06  
26 Din Van den Driessche (Bel) 0:06:09  
27 Jelle Vanden Dries (Bel) 0:06:33  
28 Thomas Van de Velde (Bel) 0:06:40  
29 Mats Lammertink (Ned) 0:06:52  
30 Brecht Vandenheede (Bel)    
31 Sybren Jacobs (Bel) 0:07:03  
32 Sieben Wouters (Bel) 0:07:24  
33 Aaron Vandermeirsch (Bel) 0:07:37  
34 Kyle De Proost (Bel) 0:07:47  
35 Vincent Peeters (Bel) 0:07:59  
-1lap Wout Alleman (Bel)    
-1lap Tim Janssen (Ned)    
-1lap Rob Vanden Haesevelde (Bel)    
-1lap Fabio Jakobsen (Ned)    
-1lap Joran Mertens (Bel)    
-2laps Lander Jespers (Bel)    
-2laps Olaf Remmerswaal (Ned)    
-2laps Mathias Moenaert (Bel)    
-2laps Jonas Verstraete (Bel)    
-2laps Laurens De Jonghe (Bel)    
-2laps Gilles De Jaeger (Bel)    
-2laps Jarno Dedier (Bel)    
-3laps Thibault Copine (Bel)    
-3laps Tjendo De Baere (Bel)    
-3laps Brent Peeters (Bel)    
-3laps Stef Teirlinck. (Bel)    
Elite men Trofee after one round
1 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:57:10  
2 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:00:01  
3 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 0:01:25  
4 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:01:43  
5 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:02:09  
6 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:02:13  
7 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:02:28  
8 Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team 0:02:59  
9 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:03:13  
10 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:03:18  
U23 men Trofee after one round
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) 25  pts
2 Wout Van Aert (Bel) 22  
3 Corné van Kessel (Ned) 19  
4 Jens Adams (Bel) 17  
5 Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) 16  
6 Mike Teunissen (Ned) 15  
7 Toon Aerts (Bel) 14  
8 Vinnie Braet (Bel) 13  
9 Tim Merlier (Bel) 12  
10 Laurens Sweeck (Bel) 11  
11 Karel Hnik (Cze) 10  
12 Wietse Bosmans (Bel) 9  
13 Emiel Dolfsma (Ned) 8  
14 Ritchie Denolf (Bel) 7  
15 Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) 6  
16 Joeri Hofman (Bel) 5  
17 Daan Soete (Bel) 4  
18 Yorben Van Tichelt (Bel) 3  
19 David van der Poel (Ned) 2  
20 Matthias Van de Velde (Bel) 1  
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