Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) won the final round of the Superprestige cyclo-cross series in Middelkerke, at the windy Belgian coast. Meeusen soloed to victory 19 seconds ahead of Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) with Belgian champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) rounding out the top three at 29 seconds.
"I'm super happy," Meeusen said. "It's the first time I won without having to sprint for it. Winning here was my only goal after a somewhat disappointing world championship race. It's my fifth win of the season. I've won a race in every major classification. Now I can comfortably enter the off-season."
Meeusen was accompanied by Kevin Pauwels during the first three laps but knew he could put his technical skills to use to distance his compatriot. "During the first laps I didn't feel great but stayed in front. I didn't want to ride away from Kevin but by hopping the barriers I created a gap of ten metres," Meeusen said.
Pauwels realized he probably lost the race on that technical section. "We were equally strong but he made the difference on the barriers. They were quite high and it was muddy there too. Too bad I still haven't won a race," Pauwels said.
Slowly the gap increased and at the finish line Pauwels was nearly twenty seconds behind on the technical course. Behind Meeusen and Pauwels it was Nys who managed the final podium spot. That third place was just enough to overtake the man in seventh on the day, Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), and take a thirteenth overall win in the Superprestige series.
Right after finishing Nys thought he had just missed out on the overall win. "I thought Niels was sixth. This is unbelievable. Equal points in the Superprestige series. It means Niels did a great season, too," Nys said.
For most of the race Nys rode in fourth place at quite a distance from Dutch champion Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team). Though not realizing that the overall win was within his reach if he overtook the Dutchman, Nys nonetheless made it his goal. "I had to get back to him. He made me work very hard for it. Even at the finish line he kept pushing me," Nys said.
While Nys and Albert were fighting for the overall win in the Superprestige there was a big battle going on for third place in the series as well. Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) managed to keep up with Nys for a long time. If he finished third then he would hold off Meeusen for third overall. Vantornout fell short, however, as he finished fifth.
The only man without classification ambitions was Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink). By riding in sixth place he was ruining the classification for a very frustrated Niels Albert. Despite his four-point lead over Nys heading into the race in Middelkerke Albert didn't manage to keep only two riders in between him and the Belgian champion.
"I saw that Sven wasn't having a great day so I knew it was possible for me," Albert said. "A unnecessary move from Corné van Kessel in the first lap blocked me. After that I tried to move up too quickly. In the end I just didn't manage to move up. This race was like my whole season, close but not close enough."
Further back, a bad start and a crash in the pit ruined Jonathan Page's (Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist) race. In previous years he managed some good results in Middelkerke but on Saturday he finished just outside the Superprestige points in sixteenth place.
Next week marks the last cyclo-cross race of the season with the final round of the Bpost Bank Trophy series in Oostmalle, Belgium on Sunday.
|1||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:57:32|
|2||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:00:19|
|3||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink Cycling Team||0:00:29|
|4||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||0:00:30|
|5||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:01:03|
|6||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:01:07|
|7||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||0:01:12|
|8||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb–Napoleon Games||0:01:20|
|9||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||0:01:55|
|10||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:02|
|11||Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace||0:02:07|
|12||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink Cycling Team||0:02:42|
|13||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:02:55|
|14||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||0:03:03|
|15||Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:03:08|
|16||Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist||0:03:14|
|17||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||0:03:23|
|18||Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) Team Natubalans-Apex||0:03:24|
|19||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:03:33|
|20||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:04:00|
|21||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team||0:04:09|
|22||Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace Cycling Team|
|23||Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team||0:04:20|
|24||Micki Van Empel (Ned) KDL Cycling Team||0:04:26|
|25||Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:04:42|
|26||Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:04:54|
|27||Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||0:05:24|
|28||Davy Commeyne (Bel) Smartphoto Cycling Team||0:05:59|
|29||Kevin Cant (Bel) Primator Cyclingteam||0:07:42|
|30||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team|
|31||Niels Koyen (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team||-2laps|
|32||Nicolas Le Besq (Fra)|
|33||Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction|
|34||Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio|
|35||Teemu Viholainen (Fin)||-3laps|
|36||Nick Both (Aus)||-4laps|
|DNF||Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team|
|DNF||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team|
|DNF||Jon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio|
|DNF||Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team|
|DNF||Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink Cycling Team||101||pts|
|2||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||101|
|3||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||84|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||83|
|5||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||77|
|6||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||75|
|7||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||57|
|8||Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace Cycling Team||53|
|9||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||49|
|10||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||33|
|11||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||27|
|12||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||27|
|13||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||25|
|14||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||22|
|15||Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||22|
|16||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||21|
|17||Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace||19|
|18||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb–Napoleon Games||17|
|19||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink Cycling Team||14|
|20||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-QuickStep||12|
|21||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||11|
|22||Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||8|
|23||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||6|
|24||Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||4|
|25||Micki Van Empel (Ned) KDL Cycling Team||3|
|26||Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist||3|
|27||Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized||2|
|29||Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa) Specialized-Garmar||2|
|29||Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||1|
|30||Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||1|