Albert repeats at Diegem

Stybar returns to racing, finishes third

For the second straight year Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) has won the "night 'cross" in Diegem, Belgium. Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) finished second during the sixth round of the Superprestige Series and strengthened his overall lead in the ahead of Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea), who managed only a seventh place under the artificial light on the frozen snow in Diegem.

After missing several weeks of racing due to a knee injury, world champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) returned to competition and was delighted with his third place finish.

The win from Albert came after a head-to-head duel with Nys. The duo distanced the rest of the field on the second lap and despite several accelerations none of them was able to drop the other. Just when it seemed a sprint would determine the victor in Diegem a mechanical decided the race. Nys dropped his chain late on the final lap while Albert didn't look back and sped to his third victory of the season.

"Just like every year it was hard to make the difference here," said Albert. "I never managed to get enough of a gap on Nys before the technical sections. The only thing I thought about in the final lap was entering the city park in the lead because from there it was singletrack to the finish line."

Belgian champion Nys preferred to lose in a sprint rather than losing due to a mechanical. "The good thing was that I fought for the victory whereas last year I wasn't able to hold the wheels. Too bad I lost it this way," Nys said.

The 34-year-old Belgian announced that he would end his career with his current Landbouwkrediet team in March, 2014 just before starting the race in Diegem. "It would've been great to thank the sponsor with the victory today, but the overall victory also deserves a party," Nys said.

In the battle for third place Telenet-Fidea teammates Rob Peeters and Kevin Pauwels were working together before Peeters eventually left Pauwels behind. "He was making a lot of technical mistakes," Peeters said.

Peeters seemed to be heading towards his first podium result in Belgium this season but then another Telenet-Fidea teammate emerged. "When Stybar bridged up to me I was in trouble because he was going much faster," Peeters said.

World champion Stybar bounced back from a first lap crash when the Czech led the bunch through a slippery corner. "I was thriving on adrenaline because I was so happy to be racing again. After my crash I opted to stay calm and move up slowly. I can't be top level yet but by finishing in third place I know that I didn't lose too much on my rivals," Stybar said.

A surprising name in sixth place was Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus). The German champion came out of nowhere back into the top-10 during the second half of the race. "That part of the race was great. It's too bad I messed up my start again; I'm always quite nervous," Walsleben said.

With only two rounds left in the Superprestige Series Nys is on track to earn his tenth overall victory. Nys has a lead of 17 points over Pauwels with only 15 points available for the winner of a round. Despite missing a round Stybar is still in third place overall, trailing Pauwels by only one point. Albert is in fourth, four points down on Pauwels.

The next round of the Superprestige Series will be held in Hoogstraten, Belgium on February 6, 2011. The series finale takes place in Middelkerke, Belgium on February 12, 2011.

Full Results
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus1:00:31 
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:18 
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:41 
4Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:56 
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:12 
6Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:24 
7Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:28 
8Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:35 
9Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team0:01:41 
10Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:01:44 
11Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom0:01:59 
12Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor0:02:05 
13Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus0:02:31 
14John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:02:49 
15Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team0:03:09 
16Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:03:19 
17Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:03:42 
18Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team0:03:49 
19Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:03:58 
20Isaac Suarez (Spa)0:04:03 
21Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:04:06 
22Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:04:26 
23Stijn Huys (Bel)0:04:45 
24Davy Commeyne (Bel)0:05:43 
25Bram Schmitz (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof0:05:53 
26Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:06:10 
27Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn)  
28Mike Thielemans (Bel) Team-Thielemans & Co0:06:21 
29Rene Birkenfeld (Ger) Harvesterhude Rv0:06:23 
30Kevin Cant (Bel) Van Goethem Prorace Cycling Team0:06:30 
31Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)0:06:33 
32Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team -1lap 
33Bart Verschueren (Bel) Champion System LBS Team  
34Craig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue -2laps 
35Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder  
36Mitchell Hoke (USA) Clif Bar Development Team  
37Sean Babcock (USA) Kona  
38Mark Lalonde (USA) Cal Giant-Specialized  
39Ryan Knapp (USA) BikeReg.com  
40Fernandez Suarez (Spa) -3laps 
41Quentin Bertholet (Bel)  
42Ryan Iddings (USA) Redline  
43Shaun Adamson (Can) Cycle-Smart -5laps 
44Theobald Ullrich (Ger)  
45Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team  
Superprestige standings after six rounds
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet82pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team65 
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team64 
4Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus61 
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team56 
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team49 
7Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team39 
8Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor35 
9Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team35 
10Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team34 
11Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor23 
12Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus22 
13Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus20 
14Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus18 
15Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team18 
16Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team17 
17Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom17 
18Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus14 
19Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team11 
20Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor9 
21Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team8 
22Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com4 
23Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor4 
24Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans3 
25Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3 
26Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike3 
27Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team2 
28John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale2 
29Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team1 
30Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team1 

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