Albert is king in Plzen mud

Vantornout, Pauwels slip and slide to podium

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) won a muddy and cold edition of the second round of the World Cup in Plzen, in the Czech Republic, finish well clear of Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor), Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) and former World Cup leader Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor).

Peeters was removed from the official result after UCI commissaires spotted an irregular pit stop in the first half of the race. It didn’t matter much to world champion Albert, who looked unbeatable on the slippery course.

“I like this weather, when it’s raining and it’s muddy. Everybody rides on his own and that’s when I’m on my best. Hopefully it’s raining in Belgium too,” Albert said in the post-race interview.

“I’ve won here as a world champion in 2009 and now I win again in this jersey. The corners were really dangerous because you can make a mistake everywhere. You have to pay a lot of attention and use your technique.”

Unlike last years's World Cup race, the TV-camera was gone by the time the start was given but once again Albert wasn’t near the front when the race started. US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) was even worse off, as he hit the deck in the first corner.

Albert managed to bridge up to the all-Belgian seven-man lead group by the end of the first lap. Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road) – the revelation of the first World Cup round – rode in the first chase group at 15 seconds.

Halfway into the second lap, Albert moved into the lead. Soon after, his pace distanced most riders except for Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony). But the pace also proved too high for the experienced Belgian and he crashed hard in a tricky descent early on in the third lap.

“I’m in a lot of pain. I was on the wrong track and didn’t click into the pedal with one foot. I landed on the top of my frame. Physically I didn’t suffer much today but the crash hurt a lot,” Nys told Sporza.

Albert rode alone in front from then on, with Pauwels the sole chaser by the end of the third lap. Nys slipped to sixth position, at more than half a minute from Albert. However Pauwels failed to close the gap on Albert and he was caught back by teammate Vantornout and at halfway through the race – after four out of eight laps – the Sunweb duo trailed Albert by 18 seconds.

From there Vantornout occasionally seemed able to take ground back on Albert but he was never able to reduce the gap inside of 10 seconds. Eventually Albert easily took the win. Behind him Vantornout sat up in the final metres in order to hand the World Cup points for second place to teammate Pauwels but he didn’t know that Pauwels had suffered a mechanical problem in the last lap. Francis Mourey (FDJ) was the first non-Belgian in Plzen in eighth place. 

There was little to celebrate for the US riders. After his first corner crash Powers didn’t make up enough ground to gain UCI points and he didn’t finish the sixth lap. By that time Timothy Johnson (Cannondale p/b had also left the race, while riding at the back of the pack. Jonathan Page rode in the top-25 but faded in the second half of the race. He finished 32nd, 6:29 behind winner Niels Albert.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus1:08:26 
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:36 
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:45 
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:54 
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:09 
6Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:01:31 
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:02:14 
8Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:02:45 
9Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:02:58 
10Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:04 
11Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:03:12 
12Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:21 
13Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:27 
14Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:45 
15Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea0:03:50 
16Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:03 
17Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:04:15 
18Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:04:22 
19Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:04:28 
20Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:04:44 
21Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:52 
22Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:05:01 
23Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:05:07 
24Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta - Fitness / Specialized0:05:18 
25Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:05:19 
26Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus  
27Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco0:05:28 
28Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 930:05:36 
29Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks0:05:45 
30Mitchell Huenders (Ned)0:05:57 
31Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea0:06:08 
32Jonathan Page (USA)0:06:29 
33Jirí Polnický (Cze) Whirlpool - Author0:06:33 
34Guillaume Perrot (Fra)0:06:45 
35Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:06:55 
36David Kášek (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:07:05 
37Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de0:07:35 
38Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea0:07:45 
39Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:08:07 
40 (-1 lap)Milan Barenyi (Svk)  
41Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo  
42Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite  
43Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor  
44Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda  
45Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda  
46Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole  
47 (-2 laps)Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencín Trek  
48Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)  
49Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus  
50 (-3 laps)Marco Bianco (Ita)  
51Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica  
52Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea  
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus145 pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor145 
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor130 
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea106 
5Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony105 
6Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team98 
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team98 
8Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea93 
9Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-BigMat83 
10Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team80 
11Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team79 
12Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus77 
13Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team75 
14Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus71 
15Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team71 
16Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team68 
17Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite68 
18Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team66 
19Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team64 
20Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor59 
21Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea56 
22Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus54 
23Jirí Polnický (Cze) Whirlpool - Author52 
24Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea51 
25Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus48 
26Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea45 
27Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team44 
28Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco42 
29Guillaume Perrot (Fra)41 
30Jonathan Page (USA)41 
31Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole36 
32Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized35 
33Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor34 
34Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus32 
35Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks30 
36Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus29 
37Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta - Fitness / Specialized27 
38David Kášek (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor26 
39Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 9323 
40Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda23 
41Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo23 
42Mitchell Huenders (Ned)21 
43Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld21 
44Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite21 
45Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL17 
46Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea17 
47Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor15 
48Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de14 
49Milan Barenyi (Svk)12 
50Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)12 
51Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda11 
52Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea10 
53Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica6 
54Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencín Trek4 
55Lukas Winterberg (Swi) Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes3 
56Marco Bianco (Ita)3 

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