Nys king of the Koppenbergcross

Belgian champion victorious for ninth time

With a powerful last lap ascent on the slippery meadows of the Koppenberg, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) got rid of Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and steamed on towards yet another win, his ninth, at the Koppenbergcross. The mythical 'cross race comprises the second round in the bpost Bank Trofee series and this year it was spiced with a stormy finale. World champion Albert ultimately crossed the finish line 14 seconds behind Nys, while Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) emerged from a chase group in the finale to claim third, 1:04 behind the Belgian champion.

Before the race Nys stated that the Koppenbergcross was the most beautiful 'cross race of the season, his world championships race. He dreamed of shaking off his rivals with a blistering last lap acceleration. "That I was able to do it like I said makes this a very special win. I've won my Tour of Flanders this year. I've said these were my world championships," Nys said. The 36-year-old Belgian champion referred to his run of bad fortune in previous races in the post-race press chat. "I put all my frustrations in one acceleration."

Former bpost Bank Trofee series leader Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) had an off-day on Thursday afternoon, finishing eleventh and losing more than two minutes on Albert. The BKCP-Powerplus rider now leads the series which for this season is determined by time rather than points.

"I did a great job in the general classification. The series are now down to only Sven and myself, and that after only two rounds. The only race where I can still lose it is in Baal on New Year's Day," Albert said when checking out the new general classification with Cyclingnews. Albert leads Nys by 54 seconds and Pauwels by 2:17.

Belgian champion vs. world champion

On the third of eight laps, Nys and Albert stamped their authority on the steepest stretches of the Koppenberg climb. With one acceleration they threw back all their adversaries, including Pauwels who seemed to be standing still and lost nearly 15 seconds in approximately 150 metres. Before that, Nys already showed his ambitions by winning the intermediate sprint during the second lap. Nys took 15s while Pauwels grabbed 10s and Albert the remaining five.

Nys and Albert rode head-to-head in a two-man battle for supremacy at the head of the race, but during the second half Nys clearly had something extra on the steepest section of the Koppenberg, though Albert always managed to return in the descent. Adding an additional element to the mix, during the sixth of eight laps the weather turned around dramatically with strong gusts of wind and heavy rain arriving in Oudenaarde. Consequently, a drying course turned into a slippery pool of mud which sent several riders over the handlebars on the now very difficult, twisting descent of the Koppenberg.

At the head of affairs and entering the final lap, Albert made the first mistake when he clicked out of his pedal right after entering the meadows at the bottom of the Koppenberg. Nys put the pressure on and made Albert work hard to come back on his wheel. By the time Albert was nearly on his wheel the duo reached the second part of the climb and Nys gave full gas. Albert didn't stand a chance.

While Nys rocketed up the steepest gradients on his bike Albert struggled and had to put his foot on the ground. "Nys was the best uphill. He has a great cadence in the small gear. Due to the changing circumstances there was no time to communicate a change of tyres to the pit crew at the bottom. I was losing grip uphill," Albert said. "At the top of the climb I was 13 seconds down on Nys and that was about the same at the finish."

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) overcame some tough moments and he rode two great final laps. He was best of the rest at 1:04 from winner Nys. Young French champion Aurélien Duval rode his best race of the season and finished fourth. "I think I was the best in the chase group but not good enough to battle with the leaders. In the end Vantornout was faster but that's probably experience," Duval told Cyclingnews.

Meanwhile Pauwels was struggling hard to control damages but at the finish he clocked a loss of more than two minutes on Albert. "I knew right away that it was going to be hard, that I didn't have a good day. I don't know why. Winning these series is no longer possible for me," Pauwels said at the finish line.

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 1:00:31  
2 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:00:14  
3 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:01:04  
4 Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube 0:01:15  
5 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:01:22  
6 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:01:25  
7 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:01:29  
8 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team 0:01:31  
9 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:01:49  
10 Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:02:10  
11 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:02:27  
12 Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team 0:03:21  
13 Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:03:39  
14 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:03:47  
15 Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:03:54  
16 Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea 0:03:58  
17 Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept 0:03:59  
18 Jonathan Page (USA)    
19 Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus 0:04:09  
20 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite 0:04:36  
21 Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco 0:05:16  
22 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:05:31  
23 Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized 0:05:35  
24 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:05:52  
25 Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks 0:06:13  
26 Bart Hofman (Bel) Afdeling Oost-Vlaanderen WBV-VZW 0:06:22  
27 Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized 0:06:37  
28 Kevin Cant (Bel) 0:06:53  
29 Robby Cobbaert (Bel) 0:07:34  
30 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept 0:08:37  
31 Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)    
32 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
33 Gianni Denolf (Bel)    
34 Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling    
35 Alexander Revell (NZl)    
DNF Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea    
DNF Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus    
DNF Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
DNF Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea    
DNF Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team    
Intermediate Sprint bonus
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
2 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
3 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus    
Fastest lap
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:07:20  
2 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 0:07:20  
3 Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube 0:07:22  
bpost Bank Trofee classification after two rounds
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 1:57:41  
2 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 0:00:54  
3 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:02:17  
4 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:03:11  
5 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:03:31  
6 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:03:37  
7 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:03:49  
8 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:04:42  
9 Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:06:00  
10 Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube 0:06:18  
11 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team 0:06:52  
12 Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team 0:06:54  
13 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:06:59  
14 Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:07:22  
15 Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus 0:07:49  
16 Jonathan Page (USA) 0:07:50  
17 Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team 0:07:58  
18 Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:08:07  
19 Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team 0:08:38  
20 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 0:08:47  
21 Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco 0:08:49  
22 Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:09:12  
23 Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea 0:09:19  
24 Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept 0:09:20  
25 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite 0:09:57  
26 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:10:21  
27 Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized    
28 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
29 Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks    
30 Bart Hofman (Bel) Afdeling Oost-Vlaanderen WBV-VZW    
31 Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized    
32 Kevin Cant (Bel)    
33 Robby Cobbaert (Bel)    
34 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept    
35 Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea    
36 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony    
37 Yu Takenachi (Jpn)    
38 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team    
39 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus    
40 Gianni Denolf (Bel) Cyclingchamps    
41 Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling    
42 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea    
43 Alexander Revell (NZl) Revolution Bicycles    
44 Dave De Cleyn (Bel)    
45 Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea    
46 Kevin Eeckhout (Bel)    
47 Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL    
48 Stijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling Team    
49 Stef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-Revor    
50 Mathieu Willemyns (Bel)    
51 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea    
52 Sven Belen (Bel)    
53 Kyle F Kiser (USA)    
Sprint classification
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 5  pts
2 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 4  
3 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 3  
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