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December 26, Elite Men: Heusden-Zolder

Nys wins Zolder World Cup after duel with Albert

By:
Brecht Decaluwé
Published:
December 26, 2012, 18:53 GMT,
Updated:
December 26, 2012, 21:00 GMT

Stybar rounds out the top three

It's been more than a decade since Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) last won a cyclo-cross race in Zolder, on the famous former Formula 1 car circuit. During the last few years, he's been beaten by fast men like Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) and Lars Boom (Rabobank), but this year Nys was in total control in a rainy edition on Wednesday afternoon. After a long duel with world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), the 36-year-old Belgian champion punched it halfway through the final lap. A little later, Albert crossed the line in second place.

"Winning here hasn't always been evident for me. I tried it many times but always missed out. Today it worked out," Nys told Sporza.

Thanks to his third World Cup win, Nys tied Albert in the World Cup points standings but takes on the leader's jersey. Third-placed Kevin Pauwels only managed a fifth place in Zolder, so he lost lost valuable overall points on his two rivals on Wednesday afternoon.

Pauwels completely missed his start and by the time he entered the top-10, the favourites were gone. During the second of nine laps, Albert upped the pace up front. Nys needed some time to bridge up the world champion but eventually he closed the gap. The duo exchanged accelerations but neither got away from the other. Together they hit the bell lap, with the first chasers - including Pauwels - trailing by more than half a minute.

Nys aggressively hopped back on the bike after an off-camber section. He threw himself into a technical descent and stormed on to the victory. When asked whether he had risked his life on the final descent, Nys described how he felt about the section. "I knew what I did. With the rain, it was getting harder every lap, but I had a good feeling. I tried to get the gap on the downhill. That technical zone was in the last part of the track. For me, it's better like this; otherwise it's a sprint. Normally, I can win a sprint against Niels but you never know. It's better to have a gap before the sprint."

Albert wasn't able to close on Nys during the final lap. He was humble in his defeat. "I opted to hop off the bike more quickly than Nys did [on the off-camber section]. After the descent, it was over, and I let go of it. I don't want to use it as an excuse but yesterday I was ill. During the first half [of the race], I was feeling great, but then I lost all energy. Anyway, Nys is the deserved win," Albert told Sporza.

Half a minute behind the duo, it was former world champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) who won the battle for third place. In the final lap, he got the better of his compatriot Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) and Pauwels. Simunek was fourth, and Pauwels was fifth.

Stybar was pleased with the outcome of the race. "I was hoping for a place in the top-10, so I'm very happy with this. Those two were too fast for me. Already after the second lap, I knew it. The world championships? No, I chose the road and by the time they race in Louisville, I'll be doing my first race on the road. Maybe it'll hurt at that moment, but I have other challenges ahead of me which are special too," Stybar told Sporza.

The next World Cup round will be held in Rome, Italy, on January 6, 2013. The World Cup final happens two weeks later in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. For Albert, it was clear a big duel with Nys lays ahead for the overall title. "We're starting from scratch. Kevin still has a chance, but the gap became bigger again today. Rome will be a lottery between the two of us. In Hoogerheide, I tend to go very well but that's where the battle will be decided," Albert said.

Since Nys took over the World Cup lead from world champion Niels Albert, a debate within the Belgian team will probably come to an end. Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept) won a spectacular race in Essen last weekend, but wasn't featuring in the Belgian selection. Fellow Belgians who weren't performing at the front of the latest races were feeling the pressure and there was the possibility that one rider was going to lose his spot on the team. However, since Albert lost the World Cup jersey to Nys today, the Belgian team has one more spot for the next World Cup in Rome. It highly likely that Denuwelaere will be added to the Belgian team's selection.

Full Results

Elite men
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Euphony 1:05:15  
2 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:00:16  
3 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:00:33  
4 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus 0:00:41  
5 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Revor 0:00:46  
6 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:00:50  
7 Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team    
8 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:00:58  
9 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team 0:01:05  
10 Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:01:13  
11 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 0:01:26  
12 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team 0:01:29  
13 Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team 0:01:31  
14 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor 0:01:35  
15 Simon Zahner (Swi) Ekz Racing Team 0:01:36  
16 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 0:01:41  
17 Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke - Shanks 0:01:48  
18 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team 0:02:08  
19 Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole 0:02:41  
20 Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea 0:02:45  
21 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti    
22 Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) 0:03:01  
23 Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike 0:03:11  
24 Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco Cycling Team 0:03:18  
25 Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor 0:03:31  
26 Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet - KDL 0:03:46  
27 Micki Van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - KDL 0:03:50  
28 Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.Com 0:03:52  
29 Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa) 0:04:00  
30 Martin Haring (Svk) 0:04:05  
31 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:04:12  
32 Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa) 0:04:26  
33 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 0:04:58  
34 Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus 0:05:47  
35 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 0:06:04  
36 Justin Lindine (USA) Redline 0:06:25  
37 Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha - Focus 0:06:32  
-1lap Aaron Schooler (Can)    
-1lap Ole Quast (Ger)    
-2laps Jeremy Durrin (USA) Jam Fund / NCC    
-3laps Robert Glajza (Svk)    
-3laps Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea    
-3laps Lewis Rattray (Aus)    
-3laps Adrien Pascal (Fra) Team Newcycling    
-4laps Mark Mcconnell (Can)    
-4laps Steve Chainel (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat    
-4laps Alexander Revell (NZl)    
-5laps David Quist (Nor)    
Elite men World Cup standings after six rounds
# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Euphony 415  pts
2 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 415  
3 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Revor 389  
4 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor 301  
5 Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team 291  
6 Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team 290  
7 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 276  
8 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus 263  
9 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team 246  
10 Francis Mourey (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat 240  
11 Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 222  
12 Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team 211  
13 Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team 210  
14 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus 205  
15 Simon Zahner (Swi) Ekz Racing Team 195  
16 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti 195  
17 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea 186  
18 Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 183  
19 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus 177  
20 Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 172  
21 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 165  
22 Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco Cycling Team 155  
23 Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea 153  
24 Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower Mtb Racing Team 145  
25 Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike 145  
26 Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole 140  
27 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 128  
28 Martin Bina (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor 126  
29 Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) 122  
30 Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus 122  
31 Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha - Focus 113  
32 Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke - Shanks 94  
33 Steve Chainel (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat 93  
34 Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Whirlpool - Author 83  
35 Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet - KDL 77  
36 Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea 77  
37 Micki Van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - KDL 77  
38 Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor 71  
39 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 65  
40 Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 93 65  
41 Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.Com 57  
42 Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles 57  
43 Guillaume Perrot (Fra) 46  
44 Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze) 46  
45 Mirko Tabacchi (Ita) 42  
46 Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa) 42  
47 Aurelien Duval (Fra) 40  
48 Martin Haring (Svk) 39  
49 Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa) 35  
50 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Revor 34  
51 Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing 29  
52 Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta Fitness / Specialized 27  
53 Christian Helmig (Lux) 27  
54 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat 26  
55 David Kasek (Cze) 26  
56 Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea 26  
57 Marco Ponta (Ita) 25  
58 Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet 23  
59 Mitchell Huenders (Ned) 21  
60 Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti 21  
61 Justin Lindine (USA) Redline 18  
62 Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencin Trek 18  
63 Kenneth Hansen (Den) Baboco Cycling Team 15  
64 Lewis Rattray (Aus) 15  
65 Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.De 14  
66 Aaron Schooler (Can) 13  
67 Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa) 13  
68 Ole Quast (Ger) 12  
69 Milan Barenyi (Svk) 12  
70 Jeremy Durrin (USA) Jam Fund / NCC 11  
71 Andreas Moser (Swi) 11  
72 Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) 11  
73 Alexander Revell (NZl) 11  
74 Robert Glajza (Svk) 10  
75 Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea 10  
76 Michael Boros (Cze) 9  
77 Romain Lejeune (Fra) 9  
78 Lukas Winterberg (Swi) 9  
79 Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) 8  
80 Gusty Bausch (Lux) 8  
81 Adrien Pascal (Fra) Team Newcycling 7  
82 Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team NSP - Ghost 7  
83 Mark Mcconnell (Can) 6  
84 Ludwig Söderquist (Swe) 5  
85 Zach Mcdonald (USA) Rapha - Focus 4  
86 Michel Vuelta Izquierdo (Spa) 4  
87 Angus Edmond (NZl) 4  
88 David Quist (Nor) 3  
89 Emil Arvid Olsen (Den) 3  
90 Marco Bianco (Ita) 3  
91 Ondrej Glajza (Svk) 1