With two impressive wins in two days Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) underlined his dominance in the cyclo-cross scene. His Saturday win on a fast course in Hasselt was a demonstration of both tactical and technical skills. On Sunday, Nys concluded his great weekend with a classy finish in muddy Asper-Gavere, his eighth win in the cyclo-cross classic. In a two-man sprint, Nys easily bested Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor).
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this good. I’ve certainly got more punch in my legs than other years. Klaas was very good today but there’s only a few riders I have to fear in the sprint,” Nys said.
Nys is still unbeaten in the Hansgrohe Superprestige series this season and duly strengthened his lead over world champion Niels Albert (BKCP- Powerplus). Albert had an off-day and finished in a season-worst sixth place.
In Gavere, the 36-year-old Nys dealt well with a top-notch performance from Klaas Vantornout. The latter found a muddy, demanding course that suited his abilities to perfection. Vantornout anticipated Nys’ first acceleration by going on a solo attack during the third of eight tough laps. One lap later, Nys moved forward and bridged up with Vantornout when starting the fifth lap. What followed was a thriller in which both riders tried to get rid of each other, especially during the final ascent towards Grenier castle.
“Sven sneaked past me when I didn’t expect it. I had to do something,” Vantornout said. Off the bike he sprinted his way over Nys, blocking his path. Their positions changed a couple more times but eventually they were still together on top of the climb. “I gained a few metres on him after the pit but it wasn’t enough,” Vantornout added.
A sprint would conclude the thriller. Vantornout led it out but Nys blew past him.
“My sprint was really fast but what can you say about that from Sven. What is it he can’t do,” Vantornout wondered. “He’s superior to everybody these days.”
Fifty seconds later, Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) concluded a strong race with a surprising third place, his first podium of the season in a series race.
“Finishing on the podium is a surprise to me. It’s beyond all expectations, especially in a classic like this one,” Wellens told Cyclingnews. During the first half of the race Wellens rode near the front, before riding in a group with Nys and Kevin Pauwels behind leader Vantornout and chaser Bart Aernouts (AA Drink-Leontien.nl).
“My mechanics and father told me to hold back and pace myself but I was comfortable. I was waiting for Nys to attack. When he did [halfway the race] I was caught behind Bart Aernouts and lost a lot of metres. From there I rode my own race. I bridged up with Pauwels and got rid of him in the running sections,” Wellens added.
First non-Belgian rider in Gavere was Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink-Leontien .nl) in eighth place at more than two minutes from Nys. The Dutchman led the race for a while until he – like many other riders – was confronted with a broken derailleur. Also notable was the performance from American rider Jonathan Page. After a lacklustre start to the season Page – still without a main sponsor – bounced back from a bad start to finish twelfth, grabbing his first Superprestige points of the season. “This is very good for my head. I finally showed I can ride a bike,” Page said.
The next round in the Hansgrohe Superprestige series is held next Saturday in Gieten, Netherlands.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony||1:03:02|
|2||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:00:02|
|3||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:00:50|
|4||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:01:05|
|5||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:01:30|
|6||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:01:52|
|7||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team||0:02:07|
|8||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink||0:02:15|
|9||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team||0:03:05|
|10||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team||0:03:24|
|11||Aurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube||0:04:09|
|12||Jonathan Page (USA)||0:04:19|
|13||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept||0:04:36|
|14||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony||0:04:45|
|15||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:05:22|
|16||Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)||0:05:45|
|17||Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL||0:05:53|
|18||Isaac Suarez (Spa)||0:06:05|
|19||Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus||0:06:15|
|20||Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks||0:09:18|
|21 (-1 lap)||Bart Hofman (Bel) Afdeling Oost-Vlaanderen WBV-VZW|
|22 (-2 laps)||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus|
|23 (-2 laps)||Jose Antonio Diez (Spa)|
|24 (-3 laps)||Alexander Revell (NZl) Revolution Bicycle|
|DNF||Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus|
|DNF||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus|
|DNF||Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony|
|DNF||Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea|
|DNF||Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole|
|DNF||Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team|
|DNF||Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized|
|DNF||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco|
|DNF||Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus|
|DNF||Micki van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL|
|DNF||Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony||60||pts|
|2||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||52|
|3||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||48|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||43|
|5||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team||41|
|6||Lars van der Haar (Ned)||39|
|7||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||33|
|8||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||32|
|9||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team||25|
|10||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink||25|
|11||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||16|
|12||Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus||14|
|13||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||11|
|14||Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus||8|
|15||Aurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube||7|
|16||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus||6|
|17||Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||5|
|18||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||5|
|19||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept||5|
|20||Jonathan Page (USA)||4|
|21||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco||3|
|22||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony||3|
|23||Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL||2|
|24||Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team||1|