Vantornout wins opening Superprestige race in Ruddervoorde

Nys, Meeusen round out podium

Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) won the opening round of the Superprestige series in Ruddervoorde with a last lap attack. Three riders entered the eighth and final lap together at the head of the race - Vantornout, world champion Sven Nys (Crelan KDL) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) - and Nys and Meeusen had no answer when Vantornout jumped away mid-lap. After initially falling behind Meeusen on the final lap, Nys would catch and pass the Telenet-Fidea rider to claim second, while Meeusen had to settle for third.

The previous day's World Cup winner, Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team), finished fourth followed by Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) in fifth.

"This is fantastic," said Vantornout, whose hometown of Torhout is in close proximity to the race venue. "After my Belgian title this is definitely the best win of my career."

Vantornout set the tone from the get-go as he took the hole shot and proceeded to gap his rivals on the opening lap of the muddy, technical circuit replete with numerous punchy rises, a sector of whoops plus a sand pit. By the end of the opening lap Vantornout would by joined by Nys, Van der Haar and Meeusen at the head of the race with Albert chasing alone in fifth place.

Albert would bridge to the leading four at the end of the second lap and immediately went on the offensive - jumping away on his own. By the end of the third lap he led the quartet of chasers - Vantornout, Nys, Van der Haar, and Meeusen - by eight seconds.

Albert would extend his lead over the chase group by a handful of seconds on the fourth lap, but on lap five Vantornout dropped his chase companions and bridged across to Albert. Nys and Meeusen rode together in pursuit of the two leaders while Van der Haar was gapped and rode alone in fifth place. Nys would dispatch of Meeusen and by the end of the fifth lap he reached Albert and Vantornout at the head of the race.

Meeusen was not ready to throw in the towel yet, however, and he, too, bridged across to the leaders early on the sixth lap. Nys would make his move on this circuit with only Vantornout immediately able to respond. Albert and Meeusen tried to keep the two leaders close while Van der Haar moved to within a handful of seconds of the two chasers - but was unable to cross the tantalisingly close gap.

On the penultimate lap Meeusen dropped Albert and once again found himself at the head of the race with Nys and Vantornout. Meeusen's pursuit took a lot out of him, however, as he was gapped slightly every time Nys or Vantornout upped the pace. Nonetheless Meeusen dug deep and fought back each time and entered the final lap still in the company of Vantornout and Nys.

Meanwhile, Van der Haar caught Albert and the pair entered the last lap 14 seconds down on the lead trio.

The stage was set for a final lap showdown for supremacy in the opening Superprestige round with Vantornout proving too strong for Nys and Meeusen in the race finale. Van der Haar would drop Albert in the battle for fourth place on the day.

Full Results
1Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team1:00:30 
2Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team0:00:07 
3Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:11 
4Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:31 
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:00:42 
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:45 
7Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:47 
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:02 
9Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:01:16 
10Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:01:21 
11Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:01:23 
12Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:38 
13Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team0:01:56 
14Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:59 
15Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:02:12 
16Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:02:20 
17Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:02:59 
18Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:03:08 
19Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:13 
20Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:03:15 
21Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:03:22 
22Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:03:30 
23Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:03 
24Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team0:04:32 
25Stijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:51 
26Davy Commeyne (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty Cycling Team0:05:30 
27Kevin Cant (Bel) Primator Cyclingteam  
28Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:05:50 
29Niels Koyen (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team0:06:15 
30Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction0:06:30 
31Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio0:06:39 
32Edwin De Wit (Bel) -1lap 
33Jon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio -2laps 
DNFBart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team  
DNFMicki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team  
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team  
DNFYu Takenouchi (Jpn) Colba-Superano Ham  
DNFKevin Eeckhout (Bel)  
Superprestige standings after round 1
1Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team15pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team14 
3Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team13 
4Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team12 
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team11 
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team10 
7Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team9 
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team8 
9Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team7 
10Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team6 
11Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team5 
12Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus4 
13Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team3 
14Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team2 
15Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team1 
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