Nys opens Superprestige account with 56th win

Albert runner-up in Ruddervoorde

The Hansgrohe Superprestige series opener in sunny Ruddervoorde, Belgium on Sunday evening was won – for the ninth time – by Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet). At the end of the final lap, in the final corners of the ever-twisting sticky course the clever Belgian champion distanced world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus). Kevin Pauwels completed the podium at half a minute from the duo.

"This win no longer feels like it did during the first years as a pro rider but I still feel like a kid who can go to the playground," Nys commented on his 56th Superprestige win. Despite a busy summer season on the mountain bike, which included the Olympic Games, the 36-year-old Belgian doesn't seem to run out of gas. "I take it like it comes. It wasn't possible to ride alone around here, against Niels. I did feel that I have an acceleration in my legs which I could use for the final lap. It helped that I have beaten Niels twice lately in similar conditions. That boosts my confidence and I think that I can win it like that in 70 percent of the occasions."

Albert wasn't too downhearted by the defeat. "I wanted a sprint but made a small mistake and he took ten metres. Could I ever win a sprint against Nys? I'm confident I can," Albert said.

Early on there was no sign of the two protagonists as Dutch youngster Lars van der Haar blasted away and took the hole shot. Men like Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) and local rider Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) took over the command but were unable to cause damage. After two laps there were still nine riders in the lead group. During the following lap Nys and Albert moved to the front. Only Van der Haar was able to hook on his wagon at the end of the lap. One lap later Pauwels joined the leaders as well. More accelerations from Nys and Albert quickly put Pauwels and Van der Haar in the hurt box and halfway the race they were dropped for good.

"The accelerations from Niels hurt but I think it was the same the other way around. Because we both rode hard we gained ground on the rest. Then it started becoming tactical and Kevin Pauwels made up some time on us but it was because we both felt that we could win the race," Nys said.

Pauwels kept riding at relatively short distance but he was never a threat. "I knew that even if I bridged up they would be better," Pauwels told Cyclingnews.

Albert and Nys hit the final lap together and the big crowds in Ruddervoorde seemed to crush the fences, leaning out to see how the race would be decided. "I kicked off the final lap to perfection. I led the first bit, put some pressure in the sand section and made a gap. Then he had to come back which costs some energy. I was saving some energy and then in the two, three final corners – on experience - I went full gas. I used my explosiveness and gained ten metres and he was unable to close it down," Nys explained.

Full Results
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 1:04:43  
2 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus    
3 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:00:27  
4 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:00:36  
5 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:00:39  
6 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus    
7 Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team    
8 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:00:46  
9 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:01:00  
10 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 0:01:21  
11 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:01:54  
12 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 0:02:02  
13 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team 0:02:12  
14 Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL    
15 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 0:02:23  
16 Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea 0:02:35  
17 Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept 0:02:45  
18 Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team    
19 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus    
20 Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube 0:02:52  
21 Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole    
22 Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea    
23 Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:02:55  
24 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:02:59  
25 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite 0:03:19  
26 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept 0:03:23  
27 Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 0:03:29  
28 Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:03:33  
29 Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:03:51  
30 Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Big-Mat Auber 93 0:03:57  
31 Dave De Cleyn (Bel) 0:04:32  
32 Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus 0:04:42  
33 Jonathan Page (USA) 0:05:38  
34 Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling 0:05:52  
35 Steven De Decker (Bel) 0:06:02  
36 Dries Pauwels (Bel) Melbotech Prorace CT 0:06:08  
37 Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized 0:06:25  
38 Gianni Denolf (Bel) Cyclingchamps 0:06:39  
39 Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks 0:07:17  
40 (-4 laps) Mitchell Huenders (Ned)    
41 Alexander Revell (NZl) Revolution Bicycles    
DNF Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus    
DNF Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL    
DNF Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco    
DNF Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea    
DNF Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus    
DNF Pascal Le Roux (Fra)    
Superprestige standings after round 1
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 15 pts
2 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 14  
3 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 13  
4 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 12  
5 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 11  
6 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 10  
7 Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team 9  
8 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 8  
9 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 7  
10 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team 6  
11 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 5  
12 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 4  
13 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team 3  
14 Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 2  
15 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL 1  
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