Albert wins Gieten round of Superprestige series

Van der Haar rides to second while Meeusen wins sprint for third

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) bounced back from a disastrous start on Sunday afternoon to grab the double at the fifth Superprestige round in Gieten, Netherlands. On Saturday the Belgian also won the World Cup round in Koksijde. Albert becomes the new leader of the Superprestige cyclo-cross series as former leader Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) pulled out when riding in last position after a crash and mechanical.

“Due to circumstances, I’m in the lead. It’s partly due to the bad luck from Nys – sorry for him – but it’s good for me. The next round in Diegem suits me well too,” Albert told Vier. “Right after the start I didn’t believe in my chances. I rode against someone’s foot in the first corner [...] and hit the deck. After picking up my bike I saw nobody.”

Albert was able to ride from wheel to wheel since the pack was stretched out in one long line. The double winner explained that his team-mates supported him on the road until he made up a lot of ground together with Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). “It gave me a lot of courage.”

Five laps into the twelve-lap race, Albert had the large front group in sight. Nys was setting the pace but one lap later, on a fast left hand corner, the world champion’s front wheel slid away. Nys seemed to be able to continue – he skipped the pit – but half a lap later, his derailleur wrecked his rear wheel. “I managed to recover from the crash but apparently my derailleur was harmed. That’s cycling. I’ve had many years without bad luck in the Superprestige. One year a broken derailleur ruined my chances and it seems to happen once again,” Nys said.

The world champion was forced to run a long time to reach the next pit. Nys faced an uphill task to ride back into the top-15 to get Superprestige points. During the eighth lap a group with Albert, Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) distanced the rest of the field when Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) seemed to park in an uphill running sand section.

A little later Albert put the pedal to the floor, quickly creating a decisive gap. While Albert kept going flat out on the long road sections Vantornout bowed his head. “There are no excuses. I wasn’t fit enough today and got worse every lap. Too bad because I was in a great positon,” Vantornout said.

Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) took over the command of the chase on the tenth lap. Meanwhile, Nys abandoned the race while riding in seventeenth position. “There’s too many guys ahead of me. The points are out of reach. This course is not technical enough to make the difference. Too bad because I felt good and was in control of the race,” Nys stated.

In front, Meeusen did all he could to close the gap on the two leaders, with Walsleben on his wheel, but he failed to close the final metres in the last lap. It seemed like local favourite Van der Haar was headed for a sprint victory but things turned out differently on the uphill sand section shortly before the finish line.

“Niels ran like a mad man. It was nearly impossible to keep up with my short legs but I tried to follow his steps. After hopping back on the bike I clicked out of my pedal after the fourth stroke while my chain dropped to the small ring. It was already hard to stay on his wheel so it was impossible to ride back to him,” Van der Haar said. Albert didn’t look back and crossed the line while releasing a scream of joy. “I wasn’t focused on the double. I’ve achieved it twice in 2008. My form is good and I’m happy for that,” Albert said.

The next round of the Supreprestige cyclo-cross series is held in Diegem on December 29.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team1:01:35 
2Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:15 
3Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team  
4Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus  
5Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:00:30 
6Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:00:36 
7Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team  
8Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team  
9Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team  
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team  
11Dieter Vnthourenhout (Bel)0:00:40 
12Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:42 
13Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:51 
14Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:01:06 
15Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:01:12 
16Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team  
17Micki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team0:02:19 
18Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:40 
19Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:02:53 
20Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team0:03:11 
21Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:17 
22Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tabor0:03:24 
23Vinnie Braet (Bel)0:03:28 
24Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:03:38 
25Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team0:03:57 
-1lapEddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) Team Natubalans-Apex  
-2lapsVincent Baestaens (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team  
-2lapsDavy Commeyne (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty Cycling Team  
-2lapsBart Barkhuis (Bel)  
-3lapsMarkus Schulte-Lunzum (Bel)  
-3lapsKenneth Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Haderslev  
-4lapsEmil Hekele (Bel)  
-5lapsFredrik Edin (Bel)  
-5lapsAngus Edmond (NZl)  
-6lapsNiels Luisman (Bel)  
-6lapsRik van IJzendoorn (Bel)  
-6lapsTim Rieckmann (Bel)  
-7lapsVladi Riha (Bel)  
-7lapsJames Spragg (GBr) Team Bergamont Bicycles by BMC Group  
-8lapSebastian Sattler (Bel)  
DNFSven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team  
DNFRadomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team  
DNFJoeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team  
DNFCorné van Kesseml (Bel)  
DNFLubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team  
DNFMitchell Huenders (Ned) Rings  
Elite men Superprestige standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team66 pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team58 
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team58 
4Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus53 
4Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team53 
6Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team44 
7Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team38 
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team34 
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team33 
10Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team27 
11Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team23 
11Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team23 
13Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team21 
14Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team20 
15Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team9 
15Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team9 
17Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team6 
18Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team5 
19Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team4 
19Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team4 
21Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team3 
21Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3 
23Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles2 
23Micki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team2 
23Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa)2 
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