Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb - Napoleon Games) used his bike skills and power to dominate the deep mud and slippery conditions and so win the fourth Superprestige round in Asper-Gavere, Belgium on Sunday.
The tall Belgian managed to go clear alone just before the start of the last lap as teammate Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb - Napoleon Games) slipped in the mud and briefly delayed Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea).
Vantornout managed to carve out a clear advantage to secure an important victory and show he is one of the strongest cyclo-cross riders of the season. Pauwels finished second to make it a great day for Sunweb - Napoleon Games.
"This is a fantastic win. I'm not winning a lot of races and I was still missing out on a big classic win. This one comes just behind the Belgian championships I won last year," Vantornout said.
Sven Nys (Crelan - AA Drink Team) came from a long way back to finish third, with Meeusen slipping to an angry and disappointed fourth after being in contention for much of the race. The podium finish vaulted Nys back to the top of the Superprestige series standings, after Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP Powerplus), the overnight leader, faded back from a fast start to sixth.
"I didn't want to make the mistake to start too fast. It was a tactical decision. It was not the intention to lose a lot of time when my chain came off. I stood still for 15 seconds. That's what I lacked in the end," Nys said. "I'm pleased to be leading the series now. It's better to lead than to chase."
Van der Poel wasn't worried too much. "I hoped to finish in the top five, and it's a sixth place. The course took its toll. I struggled to click in my pedals because of the small rocks," Van der Poel said.
Veterans Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) and Sven Vanthourenhout (Crelan – AA Drink) showed they excel on the tougher courses, managing good eighth and ninth places, respectively.
The huge Belgian crowds packed the side of the muddy descents and got to enjoy numerous tumbles and slips in the mud. "The crowds continue to grow. It's an amazing feeling to ride through that wall of sound," Vantornout said.
Nys defends his lead next week at the famous F1 car circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, one day after the World Cup round in Koksijde. "That's probably going to be even harder than this course," Nys said. Van der Poel trails Nys by two points. Van der Haar and Vantornout share third place at three points from Nys.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games|
|2||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games|
|3||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink|
|4||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea|
|5||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Giant-Shimano|
|6||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) BKCP Powerplus|
|7||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP Powerplus|
|8||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea|
|9||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink|
|10||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon-KwadrO|
|11||David van der Poel (Ned) BKCP Powerplus|
|12||Corné van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea|
|13||Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace|
|14||Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games|
|15||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games|
|16||Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team|
|17||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team|
|18||Patrick Gaudy (Bel) Veranclassic-Doltcini Cycling Team|
|19||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team|
|20||Eddy Van IJzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team|
|21||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team|
|22||Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles|
|23||Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team|
|24||Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team|
|25||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team|
|26||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team|
|27||Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continentaal Team|
|28||Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)|
|29||Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team|
|30||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team|
|31||Asier Arregui Dominguez (Spa)|
|32||Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel)|
|33||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)|
|34||Asier Urdaibai Erauzkin (Spa)|
|35||Josu Arregi Dominguez (Spa)|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink||52||pts|
|2||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) BKCP Powerplus||50|
|3||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Giant-Shimano||49|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games||49|
|5||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games||48|
|6||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||45|
|7||Corné van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea||28|
|8||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon-KwadrO||24|
|9||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP Powerplus||22|
|10||Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace||20|
|11||David van der Poel (Ned) BKCP Powerplus||17|
|12||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||16|
|13||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink||13|
|14||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet-Fidea||9|
|15||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games||8|
|16||Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||8|
|18||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games||6|
|19||Julien Taramarcaz (Cze) Corendon KwadrO||4|
|20||Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace||3|
|21||Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games||2|