Nys beats Albert in two-up sprint

Albert heckled by crowd after cutting off Nys

Sven Nys won the Jaarmarktcross in Niel, Belgium in a tight battle with world champion Niels Albert. While the race is no longer part of the GvA Trophy series, it was still hotly contested between Nys, Albert and Zdenek Stybar who was in contention until a last lap crash forced him to settle for third.

"It could have gone either way today, but it went my way," Nys said to Sporza after the race. "It was a intense battle between the three riders who are competing at a high level.

"On the climb up the Rupel dike I was the best and I could get a gap. Eventually it was also the spot where I had to let go of Niels Albert ... In the sprint it was always going to be tight. This time I won, and another time it will be Niels. But I'm glad that I could win again in Niel," Nys said.

World champion Niels Albert fell out of grace with the fans after an incident three laps from the end, when he blocked the road for Nys on a steep climb.

"I lost my balance and I was unaware that Nys was passing me. The crowd turned against me and I reacted with a gesture, which I shouldn't have done; but I would never block someone intentionally," Albert said to Sporza.

"It has been going on for a while this season, starting in Ruddervoorde. Now I understand how Lars Boom must have felt after the world championships in Hoogerheide. I understand his switch to the road where they can't shout. If people keep booing like this then maybe I have to do the same," Albert said.

Top-class international starting field

Although the Jaarmarktcross is no longer included in any classification but the UCI-ranking, a top-class starting field gathered near the church of Niel. The organization insisted and in the end World champion Niels Albert took the start as well, together with the four Mongolian riders from Johan Museeuw's team. The most important absentee today was Klaas Vantornout who is recovering from his torn shoulder tendon.

Nys took an unusually fast start and he was joined by Radomir Simunek, Niels Albert and also Zdenek Stybar. Halfway through the race Simunek was dropped out of the group and also his team-mate Albert lost contact with the others as he struggled to make it to the top of a steep climb. One lap later Albert rejoined the front and the next time the leaders hit the steep climb a manoeuvre from Albert caused some consternation.

Albert blocks the path of Nys

The world champion led the group up the climb on the right, lost speed and drifted to the left where Nys was hammering up the climb. Nys got boxed in and hit a pole, which wasn't appreciated by the many Nys fans in Niel.

Albert - who was now riding solo in front - rode accompanied by loud booing along the course next to the Rupel river. Albert indicated with a hand gesture to the crowd - somewhat provoking - that he couldn't hear them and to increase the volume.

As Nys and Stybar struggled to come back on Albert, he was pushing it to the limit. The next time Albert hit the climb, during the penultimate lap, he hopped off the bike rather quickly and so Nys and Stybar were able to rejoin the front.

Last lap decider

The three leaders hit the ultimate lap and early on Stybar dropped out of the group after sliding away in the same corner where Katie Compton lost her chances for the victory during the women's race.

Nys tried a late surprise attack by going through a puddle on the inside of a corner but eventually Albert and Nys reached the finishing straight together. Albert led out the sprint, but a fierce Nys quickly came past Albert, then struggled to develop the gap but persisted and grabbed a well-deserved victory.

Full Results
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago1:00:05 
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus  
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team0:00:39 
4Radomír Šimunek Jr (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus0:00:48 
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank  
6Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas  
7Tom Meeusen (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team0:01:32 
8Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank  
9Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Team BKCP-Power Plus  
10Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV  
11Jim Aernouts (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus  
12Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago  
13John Gadret (Fra)  
14Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne  
15Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Vendée U Pays de la Loire0:01:45 
16Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW0:01:53 
17Petr Dlask (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team  
18Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux0:02:05 
19Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie0:02:33 
20Marcel Meisen (Ger) Team Kuota - Indeland0:02:51 
21Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida  
22Kevin Eeckhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob  
23Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW  
24Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team  
25Twan van den Brand (Ned) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team0:03:03 
26Wietse Bosmans (Bel)0:03:07 
27Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Projob0:03:11 
28Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team0:03:21 
29Kevin Cant (Bel) AVB - Cycling Team0:03:25 
30Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel0:03:43 
31Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW0:04:09 
32Jirí Polnický (Cze) Empella Czech Team0:04:17 
33Dave De Cleyn (Bel) AVB - Cycling Team0:04:23 
34Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga (Spa)0:04:31 
35Lukáš Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb - Projob Cycling Team0:04:47 
36Flavien Dassonville (Fra)0:05:15 
37Sven Beelen (Bel) Easypay Cyclocross Team0:05:52 
38 -1 lapNico Berckmans (Bel) Dcm-Gb Vorselaar Cycling Team VZW  
39Kobus Herygers (Bel)  
40 -2 lapsStijn Mortelmans (Bel)  
41Rudy Kowalski (Fra)  
42 -5 lapsAlexandre Wypelier (Fra)  
43Ariunboldf Noaranbat (Mon)  
44Naran Khangarid (Mon)  
45 -6 lapsBold-Erdene Bolbaatar (Mol)  
Back to top