Former world champion Niels Albert (BKCP Powerplus) put in the strongest ride of his season so far to win an extra muddy Superprestige round in Hamme-Zogge. Albert powered away from world champion Sven Nys (Crelan-KDL) in the closing laps to take only his third win, and his first C1 victory of the season.
Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) was riding in a solid third place until a late mechanical forced him to run to the pits, allowing Philipp Walsleben (BKCP Powerplus) to climb onto the final podium step. Walsleben's teammate Wietse Bosmans and BMC's Julien Taramarcaz also slipped in ahead, dropping Vantornout to third in the Superprestige rankings behind Nys and Albert.
After weeks of lacklustre performances, Albert finally found his ignition switch, and halfway through the race started his demolition of the field. One lap later both Nys and Vantornout were gone for good.
"I came here hoping not to lose too many points on the others. It turned out the opposite way. I'm gaining points back," Albert said. "It's a sort of relief. Of course I'd rather drive back home with a win than a seventh place in the pocket. The course was made for big engines with its mud and running sections,"
Early on it seemed as if Albert wouldn't play a major role in the race. The 27-year-old Belgian started well but suddenly he made a U-turn and saw the riders coming his way. "I rode in a wrong track, got stuck in the fencing and suddenly someone touched my rear wheel and my bike turned around. I had to wait until everyone passed me before I got going again," Albert said. In two laps time Albert moved back up from a seemingly beaten position to the front group where Nys set the pace.
"I had a good start and felt strong so I profited from that, avoiding any trouble," Nys said. "Niels? These races don't lie. The strongest rider always wins. I have no problem to admit that Niels was better today. I tried to make the most of it."
In a battle for the overall lead in the Superprestige cyclo-cross series Nys and Vantornout literally clashed with each other, twice during the penultimate lap. At first Nys was annoyed when Vantornout didn't make it up a climb, which hindered him and caused him to lose ground on the Belgian champion. A little later Nys rode into Vantornout's rear wheel. Vantornout's bike was a wreck, forcing him to run to salvage his classification as several rivals were riding by.
While Albert had time to welcome the applause, while Nys easily held off Walsleben for second place.
Next up is the event in the Soudal cyclo-cross series in Niel on Monday. Next week Nys defends his leading position in the Superprestige cyclo-cross series in Gavere.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||1:03:33|
|2||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team||0:00:13|
|3||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||0:00:36|
|4||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||0:00:58|
|5||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team||0:01:00|
|6||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:01:42|
|7||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team|
|8||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:52|
|9||Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||0:01:57|
|10||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:02:01|
|11||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||0:02:11|
|12||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:02:21|
|13||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:32|
|14||Micki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team||0:02:40|
|15||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||0:03:20|
|16||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||0:03:29|
|17||Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:03:55|
|18||Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:04:04|
|19||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team||0:05:27|
|20||Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team|
|21||Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team|
|22||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team||0:06:14|
|23||Davy Commeyne (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty Cycling Team||0:06:34|
|24||Kevin Cant (Bel) Primator Cyclingteam||0:07:01|
|25 (-3 laps)||Mitchell Huenders (Ned) Ruiter Dakkapellen Wielerteam|
|26||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Colba-Superano Ham|
|27||James Spragg (GBr) Team Bergamont bicycles by BMC Group|
|28 (-4 laps)||Edmond Angus (NZl)|
|29||Ivan Jovanovic (Srb)|
|DNF||Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team|
|DNF||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team|
|DNF||Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team|
|DNF||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team|
|DNF||Niels Koyen (Bel) Van Goethem-Prorace Cycling Team|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team||43||pts|
|2||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||40|
|3||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||38|
|4||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||29|
|5||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||27|
|6||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||25|
|7||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||22|
|8||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||21|
|9||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||21|
|10||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||16|
|11||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team||16|
|12||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||15|
|13||Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||14|
|14||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||9|
|15||Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||5|
|16||Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||5|
|17||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||4|
|18||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team||3|
|19||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team|
|20||Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles||1|
|21||Micki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team||1|