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.
|1||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||1:00:31|
|2||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet||0:00:18|
|3||Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:41|
|4||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:56|
|5||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:12|
|6||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||0:01:24|
|7||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:28|
|8||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:01:35|
|9||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team||0:01:41|
|10||Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||0:01:44|
|11||Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom||0:01:59|
|12||Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor||0:02:05|
|13||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus||0:02:31|
|14||John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale||0:02:49|
|15||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team||0:03:09|
|16||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike||0:03:19|
|17||Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:03:42|
|18||Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team||0:03:49|
|19||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||0:03:58|
|20||Isaac Suarez (Spa)||0:04:03|
|21||Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:04:06|
|22||Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:04:26|
|23||Stijn Huys (Bel)||0:04:45|
|24||Davy Commeyne (Bel)||0:05:43|
|25||Bram Schmitz (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof||0:05:53|
|26||Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:06:10|
|27||Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn)|
|28||Mike Thielemans (Bel) Team-Thielemans & Co||0:06:21|
|29||Rene Birkenfeld (Ger) Harvesterhude Rv||0:06:23|
|30||Kevin Cant (Bel) Van Goethem Prorace Cycling Team||0:06:30|
|31||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)||0:06:33|
|32||Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||-1lap|
|33||Bart Verschueren (Bel) Champion System LBS Team|
|34||Craig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue||-2laps|
|35||Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder|
|36||Mitchell Hoke (USA) Clif Bar Development Team|
|37||Sean Babcock (USA) Kona|
|38||Mark Lalonde (USA) Cal Giant-Specialized|
|39||Ryan Knapp (USA) BikeReg.com|
|40||Fernandez Suarez (Spa)||-3laps|
|41||Quentin Bertholet (Bel)|
|42||Ryan Iddings (USA) Redline|
|43||Shaun Adamson (Can) Cycle-Smart||-5laps|
|44||Theobald Ullrich (Ger)|
|45||Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet||82||pts|
|2||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||65|
|3||Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||64|
|4||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||61|
|5||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||56|
|6||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||49|
|7||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||39|
|8||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||35|
|9||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||35|
|10||Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||34|
|11||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||23|
|12||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||22|
|13||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus||20|
|14||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||18|
|15||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team||18|
|16||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||17|
|17||Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom||17|
|18||Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus||14|
|19||Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||11|
|20||Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||9|
|21||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team||8|
|22||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com||4|
|23||Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor||4|
|24||Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans||3|
|25||Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||3|
|26||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike||3|
|27||Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team||2|
|28||John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale||2|
|29||Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||1|
|30||Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||1|