Nys powers away from Albert to win a muddy Namur race

Vantornout crosses the line in third

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) won the first ever cyclo-cross World Cup round at the citadel in Namur, Belgium. The Belgian veteran came out the victor at the end of an exciting last lap duel with Belgian champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus). Nys also took over the lead in the World Cup rankings after five rounds from Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), who finished fourth in Namur.

"This is why I became a cyclo-cross rider. This is why people watch cyclo-cross, because every second something could happen. Winning here after a battle with the Belgian champion, the world champion and the UCI World Cup leader makes the win even more valuable. In 20 years, this win will still be in my mind," Nys said. "It was super hard. Twice I flatted far from the pit. I had to climb with a flat tire which cost me a lot of energy, but I didn't want to crack. I got angry at myself to transcend myself."

The super exciting finale was preceded by a more tactical build-up during the first half of the race. The selection of a group of about 20 riders was made from behind. The pace in front was set by Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) and French champion Francis Mourey (FDJ). During the third lap, relatively unknown French rider Aurélien Duval led the pack.

Shortly after that, the big guns started firing. Albert accelerated during the fourth lap and only eight men were able to keep up: Meeusen, Mourey, Duval, Nys, Vantornout, Pauwels and world champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step Team). An acceleration from Nys cost Duval his spot in the lead group at the end of the fourth lap.

Nys continued his efforts during the fifth of eight laps, and the 35-year-old was at the front together with a well-performing Vantornout. Stybar closed the gap with the leaders and suddenly Nys faded. "I quickly realized that Nys flatted," said Vantornout. "I accelerated and for a brief moment, I believed in the victory but it was still more than three laps to go."

Stybar neutralized the move from Vantornout in the sixth lap by placing his attack. Vantornout followed the world champion and so did Nys, Albert and Meeusen. For Pauwels, a badly timed flat tire ruined his race and he suddenly trailed by 14 seconds. "I flatted twice today, which is too bad because otherwise I still would've been in the group," Pauwels said.

During the penultimate lap, no damage was done in front and Pauwels managed to get back to five seconds within the five remaining leaders. In the last lap, everybody went flat out. Albert led the group and the first victim of his efforts was Meeusen, soon to be followed by Stybar.

"It was great still to have punch in the last lap. That's what I worked on in Spain. In the end, it was about details. I looked back and noticed that Sven was at 10-15 meters. Sadly enough, I struggled on the descent which allowed him to come back relatively easy," Albert said. Nys sat on Albert's wheel on the last climb and then punched away once they reached the pavement. "I tried to accelerate too but that was a standstill sprint," Albert described his sprint.

Behind Nys and Albert, it was Vantornout who captured the remaining podium spot at 21 seconds. "I've been performing constantly except for Igorre. I was looking forward to these muddy races, but yesterday [GVA in Essen] I crashed in a pool of ice water. I'm Klaas Vantornout, and I realize I don't have the talent of the big four, but on a good day they have to take me into account," Vantornout said.

Behind the podium finishers, Pauwels did a great job for his World Cup ranking by passing Stybar and Meeusen during the last lap. He didn't salvage his leader's jersey, but he is trailing Nys by only five points. "My fourth place in Essen and here in Namur are more than I hoped for," Pauwels said.

World champion Stybar finished fifth ahead of Meeusen, and the Czech was pleased with his performance. At the finish line, he hinted out that the end of his cyclo-cross season had been on his mind. "I didn't expect it, so I'm really happy. Today I soon felt that I had to ride my own tempo. Yesterday I was very dejected during the last laps. If today wouldn't be good, we would have had to make a decision if it were worth continuing my season or not," Stybar said.

French champion Mourey was best of the rest in seventh place at 1:23, just ahead of his surprisingly strong compatriot Duval. Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team) was ninth ahead of the third French rider in the top-10, John Gadret (AG2R La Mondiale).

Yesterday's winner Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) didn't have a good day and he finished a distant 18th. That was still much better than the results from American riders Jonathan Page (Planetbike) and Timothy Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld), who finished 25th and 39th respectively.

The next round of the World Cup is held at the former F1 car circuit in Zolder, Belgium, on December 26.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet1:03:04 
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:05 
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor0:00:21 
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Revor0:00:26 
5Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quickstep Cycling Team0:00:32 
6Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:40 
7Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ0:01:23 
8Aurelien Duval (Fra)0:01:24 
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:01:27 
10John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:01:34 
11Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:01:48 
12Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing0:01:56 
13Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco Cycling Team0:02:03 
14Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:02:18 
15Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:02:19 
16Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 930:02:26 
17Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ0:02:40 
18Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea  
19Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.nl Cycling Team0:02:41 
20Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti0:02:57 
21Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:06 
22Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:03:16 
23Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta Fitness / Specialized0:03:33 
24Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:52 
25Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:03:59 
26Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)0:04:06 
27Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:09 
28Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:04:14 
29Martin Zlamalik (Cze) KDL Trans0:04:22 
30Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:38 
31Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Sunweb - Revor0:04:39 
32Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:04:40 
33Lubomir Petrus (Cze)0:04:42 
34Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team0:05:02 
35Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de0:05:06 
36David Kasek (Cze)0:05:09 
37Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles0:05:14 
38Marco Bianco (Ita)  
39Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com0:05:15 
40Marco Ponta (Ita)0:05:24 
41Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)0:05:29 
42Clément Bourgoin (Fra)  
43Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)0:05:50 
44Marcel Meisen (Ger)0:05:56 
45Martin Haring (Svk)0:06:11 
46Magnus Darvell (Swe)0:06:14 
47Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team0:06:18 
48Cristian Cominelli (Ita) TX Active Bianchi0:06:21 
49Robert Gavenda (Svk) KDL Trans0:06:28 
50Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:06:29 
51Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda - 5-Hour Energy Cycling Team0:07:13 
-1lapTroy Wells (USA)  
-1lapGusty Bausch (Lux)  
-2lapsMitchell Hoke (USA)  
-2lapsKenneth Hansen (Den)  
-2lapsEddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team  
-2lapsCraig Richey (Can)  
-3lapsYannick Mayer (Ger) Team NSP  
-3lapsKeiichi Tsujiura (Jpn) Team Bridgestone Anchor  
-3lapsEmil Arvid Olsen (Den)  
-4lapsElia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti  
-4lapsJeremy Durrin (USA)  
-5lapsDimitriy Sorokin (Lat)  
DNFChristoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke  
DNFEgoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)  
DNFThijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.nl Cycling Team  
DNFVincent Dias Dos Santos (Lux)  
DNFPablo Trabadelo Villabrille (Spa)  
DNFRené Lang (Swi)  
DNSOle Quast (Ger)  
DNSChristian Heule (Swi) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com  
DNSArnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea  
DNSDarryn Medhurst (NZl)  

World Cup standings after five rounds

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet365 pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Revor360 
3Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quickstep Cycling Team305 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor275 
5Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea270 
6Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ266 
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team265 
8Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea199 
9Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ194 
10Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti185 
11Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team182 
12Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.nl Cycling Team172 
13Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Big Mat - Auber 93164 
14Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus155 
15Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus155 
16Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole150 
17Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco Cycling Team149 
18Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower MTB - Racing135 
19Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing Team129 
20Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team129 
21Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus119 
22Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet112 
23Marcel Meisen (Ger)105 
24Cristian Cominelli (Ita) TX Active Bianchi105 
25Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)98 
26Jeremy Powers (USA) Team Rapha Focus97 
27Thijs Al (Ned) AADrink - Leontien.nl Cycling Team96 
28Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke95 
29Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles83 
30Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.Com77 
31Marco Bianco (Ita)76 
32Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)76 
33Martin Zlamalik (Cze) KDL Trans75 
34Aurelien Duval (Fra)71 
35Petr Dlask (Cze) Rubena - Birell - Specialized Cycling Team67 
36Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike64 
37Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team64 
38David Kasek (Cze)59 
39Christian Heule (Swi) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com53 
40Magnus Darvell (Swe)51 
41Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank - Giant Off-Road Team50 
42Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de49 
43Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Sunweb - Revor48 
44Mitchell Huenders (Ned) Cyclingteam Jo Piels46 
45John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale42 
46Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team42 
47Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)35 
48Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) Feenstra Stevens Bike Team31 
49Marco Ponta (Ita)30 
50José Antonio Hermida Ramos (Spa) Multivan Merida Biking Team29 
51Robert Gavenda (Svk) KDL Trans27 
52Jérome Chevallier (Fra)26 
53Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)25 
54Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus24 
55Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti24 
56Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team23 
57Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa)23 
58James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale / Cyclocrossworld.com22 
59Kenneth Hansen (Den)21 
60Karel Hnik (Cze) Telenet - Fidea20 
61Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea19 
62Craig Richey (Can)19 
63Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team19 
64Lubomir Petrus (Cze)18 
65Erlantz Uriarte Okamika (Spa)18 
66Fabio Ursi (Ita) Team CBE Tecnoimpianti A.S.D.18 
67Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)18 
68Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa)17 
69Guillaume Perrot (Fra)17 
70Ondrej Bambula (Cze)17 
71Jeremy Durrin (USA)16 
72Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet16 
73Martin Haring (Svk)16 
74Joachim Parbo (Den)14 
75Milan Barenyi (Svk)14 
76Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea12 
77René Lang (Swi)12 
78Melvin Rulliere (Fra)11 
79Nico Brüngger (Swi)11 
80Clément Bourgoin (Fra)9 
81Marek Cichosz (Pol) Legia - Felt6 
82Ole Quast (Ger)5 
83Vaclav Metlicka (Svk)3 


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