A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
Albert nets another podium place
Sven Nys beats Kevin Pauwels by inches in Gavere.
Landbouwkrediet rider Sven Nys won the fourth round of the Superprestige Series in Gavere, holding off Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) in a two-man sprint for the line. Nys' seventh victory in Gavere bolsters his lead in the series over world champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea), who finished fifth.
There were five riders who distanced the rest of the field: Nys, Pauwels, Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), Stybar and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) gained half a minute on the first chasers after just two laps. Just before the halfway point Nys accelerated, which proved too much for world champion Stybar and Vantornout.
Two laps later another surge from Nys put Albert into trouble, leaving just Pauwels to follow the Belgian champion. Albert remained a short distance from the two leaders but he was never able to close the six seconds on the leaders.
As expected Nys tried to shake off Pauwels on the final ascent of the climb towards the Grenier castle but Pauwels stayed on his wheel. The two headed for the sprint in the same position, with Pauwels regarded as the fastest sprinter. Pauwels tried to get past Nys on the left but the more experienced rider edged toward the barriers to reduce the space for Pauwels.
Nys had no time to throw his arms in the air but the shaking head from Pauwels said enough, Nys had just won in Gavere for the seventh time.
“This is great as I'm not often winning races this way. Kevin was riding very strong. In the finale I couldn't get rid of him on the climb so we had to sprint. I don't think I closed the door completely although it's true that I moved a bit from my line,” Nys said.
After claiming his first win of the season Pauwels almost captured two big wins in one weekend but in the sprint he made a couple of mistakes. “I thought the finishing straight was long enough to overtake Sven. He started the sprint right after the corner and I didn't get time to get my hands off the top bar. Sven was better in the mud and in the sprint; the strongest man won today,” Pauwels said.
About 20 seconds later Albert crossed the line in third place. Last year he ended Nys' series of victories in Gavere but this year Albert has yet to take a win. “That doesn't bother me too much. I'm happy with the way I rode today. When Nys attacked I dropped my chain. I was able to keep the gap within ten seconds but going a bit faster and coming back to them wasn't possible,” Albert said.
Behind the top three, Wellens worked hard to come back on Stybar and Vantornout. In the last laps he first caught Vantornout and in the last lap he even dropped the world champion and stormed to fourth place at just over one minute from Nys and Pauwels. Stybar missed out on a podium spot but holds on to his second place in the Superprestige Series. “I lacked the power today to stay with the leaders,” the young Czech explained.
The two US starters in Gavere rode a solid race. US champion Timothy Johnson (Cannondale) lined upon the front row but had a bad start. He showed persistence and eventually finished 12th while Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) had a great start and remained in the front group for almost two laps before fading back and finishing 14th.
British rider Ian Field (Hargroves Cycles) had a good start but eventually pulled out. For a week he has been struggling with a headache that couldn't be diagnosed by the doctors. The two Canadian riders at the start didn't finish in the same lap as winner Nys.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet||0:58:48|
|2||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team|
|3||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||0:00:22|
|4||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:05|
|5||Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:24|
|6||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:01:44|
|7||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:49|
|8||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||0:02:12|
|9||Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||0:02:26|
|10||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:02:45|
|11||Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:02:48|
|12||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com||0:02:51|
|13||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:03:11|
|14||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike||0:03:18|
|15||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team||0:03:39|
|16||John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale||0:03:41|
|17||Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:04:19|
|18||Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:05:00|
|19||Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:05:07|
|20||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team||0:05:21|
|21||Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans||0:05:40|
|22||Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus||0:05:49|
|23||Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team|
|24||Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)|
|25||Mitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus|
|26||Bjorn Rondelez (Bel)|
|27||Craig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue|
|28||Rene Birkenfeld (Ger) Harvesterhude Rv|
|29||Kristof Zegers (Bel)|
|30||Calero Candalicio (Spa)|
|31||Shaun Adamson (Can) Cycle-Smart|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet||56||pts|
|2||Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||51|
|3||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||46|
|4||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||45|
|5||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||45|
|6||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||40|
|7||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||31|
|8||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||24|
|9||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||23|
|10||Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team||20|
|11||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||15|
|12||Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom||12|
|13||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||12|
|14||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||12|
|15||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus||11|
|16||Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||9|
|17||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team||8|
|18||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||5|
|19||Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com||4|
|20||Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans||3|
|21||Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||3|
|22||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike||3|
|23||Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||1|
|24||Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||1|