Nys wins in the mud

Belgian champion beats Vantornout and Alberts

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) ran and rode through often ankle-deep mud to win the third round of the Superprestige series in Hamme-Zogge, Belgium and put aside world champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) as leader in the series.

Race organizer Jurgen Mettepenningen hoped one of his Sunweb-Revor riders would win the race and though Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) came close, it was Nys who was ultimately proved fasted on and off the bike in the flooded fields of Zogge.

“I'm very satisfied because there was way too much running involved,” Nys said. “Three years ago the national championships were held in similar conditions on this course and then I lost the race before the start. This time I told myself: “You've won the last couple of races and you've got the best form of the pack, so go for it.”

Thanks to the win Nys also moved past world champion Zdenek Štybar (Telenet-Fidea) and Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant Offroad) to take top spot in the Superprestige series standing, a series he already won nine times.

“We're one step closer to a possible tenth overall win. I'm closing a gap on Stybar which was already significantly. Guys like Stybar and Albert tend not to finish off the podium quite often, so when they do it's ideal to grab the win. It's better to be ahead of them than to chase them,” Nys said.

A mud bath

Heavy rain during the last few days had turned the course into a quagmire, creating terrible conditions to compete in but a spectacular race to watch.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) created the first real split with four and a half laps to go but then Nys charged across to them, leaving Stybar stuck in the mud behind.

All three riders tried to attack during the final laps. Vantornout looked strong on the last lap and he accelerated while running through the mud but Nys chased him down and went past him

“I actually thought that it was the winning move. When I looked back I was surprised to see Nys running right behind me; his form is fantastic,” Vantornout said while reflecting on the last lap racing action.

While Nys showed persistence and hung on, Albert cracked and settled for third place. Nys then stormed past Vantornout inside the final kilometre to take another big win. For a moment Nys struggled in the sand and Vantornout got back to within ten metres but it was not enough.

“I made a small mistake that handed Nys a 20-metre lead but then I saw him flounder in the sand. It's a tough section and I still had one last acceleration left in my legs and believed in my chances if the race had finished in a sprint,” Vantornout said.

He didn't get that chance, as Nys held on to his small lead and headed to his first win of the season in the Superprestige series and prove he is back to his best.

World champion Stybar had been struggling with a back injury and toiled in the tough conditions. His team-mates Bart Wellens and Rob Peeters distanced him in the final laps to finish fourth and fifth, with Stybar sixth and losing his lead in the Superprestige series.

“I don't blame him (Peeters) for that. He's got to fight for his World Cup selection. Before the race I would've signed on the line for sixth place. I had a lot of pain when I was running, so every moment off the bike was one too many. I suffered a lot. Now it's time to recover,” Stybar said.

Page starts fast but empties the tank

American rider and Cyclingnews blogger Jonathan Page (Planetbike) arrived in Zogge after a great fourth place in Saturday's race in Dottignies under his belt. He set off with a bang during the first lap but from then on he steadily lost ground and eventually finished in 19th position. “After twenty minutes I had nothing left in my tank. Fitness-wise I'm ok but it's clear that three tough races in one week are a bit too much for me right now,” Page said.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:59:58 
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:04 
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:40 
4Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:10 
5Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:26 
6Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:37 
7Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:48 
8Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:01:57 
9Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team0:02:03 
10Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:02:07 
11Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:48 
12Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:03:29 
13Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:03:36 
14Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:03:39 
15Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:03:50 
16Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:04:11 
17Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:04:40 
18Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:05:15 
19Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:05:24 
20Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor0:06:22 
21Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:06:45 
22Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans0:06:51 
23Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team0:07:55 
24Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:08:16 
-1lapRobert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team  
-1lapMitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus  
-2lapsBart Hofman (Bel)  
-3lapsCraig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue  
-3lapsCarlos Hernandez (Spa)  
-3lapsJorge Cantalicio (Spa)  
-3lapsBart Verschueren (Bel)  
-4lapsRoger Rodriguez (Spa)  
-5lapsManuel Martin (Spa)  
Superprestige Topsport Vlaanderen Trofee elite men's classification after three rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet41 pts
2Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team40 
3Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team33 
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus33 
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team32 
6Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team31 
7Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor21 
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team20 
9Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team15 
10Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor15 
11Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team13 
12Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom12 
12Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus12 
14Enrico Franzoi (Ita)11 
15Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team7 
16Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team6 
17Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus5 
18Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor4 
19Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans3 
19Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3 
21Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike1 

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