Nys returns to the top in Ruddervoorde

Albert fades to second in Superprestige opener

Belgian champion Sven Nys returned to the top of the podium at the Superprestige opening round in Ruddervoorde, Belgium. He overcame a poor starting position which was the result of his sub-par performances earlier this season to bridge up to an aggressive start by world champion Niels Albert (BKCP Powerplus) mid-way through the race.

Neither rider eased up and each tried to sneak away whenever he could. As the rain began to make the technical course more slippery Nys eventually soloed to the victory with more than half a minute to spare.

"I proved that my off-day in Treviso wasn't caused by a lack of form," Nys said. "I was sitting perfectly on my bike and then you know you can win. I took my time to move up towards Niels [Albert] and once up there I noticed he didn't have an acceleration left in his legs," Nys said.

Runner-up Albert played his cards early on but had to concede to Nys in the end. "Sven deserves the win. I wasn't recovered completely from Namur and gambled with a fast start today; I didn't have it in my legs though," Albert said.

Behind the two protagonists it was Stybar who held off Sven Vanthourenhout for third place with the latter riding a remarkable race, including a poor start and a slow comeback to the front. "Actually I wasn't planning to start today after yesterday's non-performance. I quickly noticed today was much better," Vanthourenhout said.

'Boring' race switches into revival from Nys

The race exploded right from the start as Albert fired away with nobody able to follow the world champion on the technical course. The Belgian slowly build up a lead of 12" over Zdenek Stybar and Klaas Vantornout and for moment it seemed like Albert would dominate a boring race.

The world champion never really got out of sight, and once Nys joined the chase halfway through the second lap the gap started to drop back.

Nys quickly left Stybar, Vantornout and Petr Dlask behind and went in search of Albert. It took the Belgian champion two laps but eventually he managed to bridge up to the young world champion, who seemed to be less fresh than the day before.

With four laps to go Nys gapped Albert and rode away metre by metre. The gap suddenly was 5 seconds, and then steadily further up to 15 when Nys hit the final lap.

Albert eased off and secured his second place. Stybar was able to get rid of Klaas Vantornout in the second half of the race, when the latter hit a pole with his pedal, but was then joined by his team-mate Sven Vanthourenhout in the final laps.

Eventually Stybar gapped the Belgian when going through the slippery corners as it started to rain and he was able to hold on to that narrow lead until the finish line.

Despite his crash, Vantornout secured fifth place ahead of Radomir Simunek and Bart Aernouts, who outsprinted Dieter Vanthourenhout and Enrico Franzoi. Kevin Pauwels rounded off the top-10 at 1:23 from winner Nys. US rider Jonathan Page rode an anonymous race and finished 18th.

Full Results
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago0:59:23 
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:40 
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team0:00:59 
4Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob0:01:05 
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob0:01:12 
6Radomír Šimunek (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus  
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank0:01:16 
8Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus  
9Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas0:01:23 
10Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team0:01:32 
11Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank0:01:48 
12Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team0:02:00 
13Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago0:02:09 
14Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV0:02:13 
15Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne0:02:24 
16Petr Dlask (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team0:02:35 
17Christian Heule (Swi) RendementhypoCycling Team0:02:49 
18Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:02:57 
19Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie0:03:08 
20Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof0:03:10 
21Wim Leemans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus  
22Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW0:03:14 
23Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne0:03:16 
24Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida0:03:25 
25Marco Bianco (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team0:03:42 
26Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW0:03:50 
27Ben Berden (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team0:03:51 
28Gianni Denolf (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus  
29Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel0:04:08 
30Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team0:04:20 
31Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned) Sint Oedenrode0:04:23 
32Stijn Huys (Bel) Palmans-Cras  
33Geert Wellens (Bel) AVB - Cycling Team0:04:34 
34Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/GSI0:04:41 
35Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team0:04:58 
36Bjorn Rondelez (Bel) Lingier Versluys Beachbikers Team0:05:55 
37Daan De Jonge (Ned) Josan-Mercedes Team0:06:45 
38Jerry Kallenfels (Ned) Easypay Cyclocross Team  
Nissan Superprestige standings after round 1
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago15pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus14 
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team13 
4Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob12 
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob11 
6Radomír Šimunek Ml (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus10 
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank9 
8Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus8 
9Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas7 
10Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team6 
11Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank5 
12Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team4 
13Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago3 
14Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV2 
15Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne1 


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