Nys wins Zolder World Cup after duel with Albert

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) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Euphony1:05:15 
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:16 
3Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:33 
4Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:41 
5Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Revor0:00:46 
6Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:50 
7Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team  
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:58 
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team0:01:05 
10Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:13 
11Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:26 
12Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team0:01:29 
13Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team0:01:31 
14Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor0:01:35 
15Simon Zahner (Swi) Ekz Racing Team0:01:36 
16Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:41 
17Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke - Shanks0:01:48 
18Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team0:02:08 
19Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:02:41 
20Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:02:45 
21Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti  
22Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)0:03:01 
23Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:03:11 
24Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco Cycling Team0:03:18 
25Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor0:03:31 
26Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet - KDL0:03:46 
27Micki Van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - KDL0:03:50 
28Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.Com0:03:52 
29Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)0:04:00 
30Martin Haring (Svk)0:04:05 
31Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:12 
32Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)0:04:26 
33Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:58 
34Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:05:47 
35Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:06:04 
36Justin Lindine (USA) Redline0:06:25 
37Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha - Focus0:06:32 
-1lapAaron Schooler (Can)  
-1lapOle Quast (Ger)  
-2lapsJeremy Durrin (USA) Jam Fund / NCC  
-3lapsRobert Glajza (Svk)  
-3lapsArnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea  
-3lapsLewis Rattray (Aus)  
-3lapsAdrien Pascal (Fra) Team Newcycling  
-4lapsMark Mcconnell (Can)  
-4lapsSteve Chainel (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat  
-4lapsAlexander Revell (NZl)  
-5lapsDavid Quist (Nor)  
Elite men World Cup standings after six rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Euphony415 pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus415 
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Revor389 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor301 
5Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team291 
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team290 
7Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea276 
8Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus263 
9Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink - Leontien.Nl Cycling Team246 
10Francis Mourey (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat240 
11Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea222 
12Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Bmc Mountainbike Racing Team211 
13Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Giant Offroad Team210 
14Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus205 
15Simon Zahner (Swi) Ekz Racing Team195 
16Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti195 
17Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea186 
18Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus183 
19Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus177 
20Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team172 
21Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team165 
22Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco Cycling Team155 
23Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea153 
24Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Swisspower Mtb Racing Team145 
25Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike145 
26Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole140 
27Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team128 
28Martin Bina (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor126 
29Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)122 
30Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus122 
31Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha - Focus113 
32Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke - Shanks94 
33Steve Chainel (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat93 
34Jiri Polnicky (Cze) Whirlpool - Author83 
35Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet - KDL77 
36Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea77 
37Micki Van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet - KDL77 
38Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor71 
39Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep65 
40Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 9365 
41Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale P/B Cyclocrossworld.Com57 
42Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles57 
43Guillaume Perrot (Fra)46 
44Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)46 
45Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)42 
46Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)42 
47Aurelien Duval (Fra)40 
48Martin Haring (Svk)39 
49Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)35 
50Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Revor34 
51Lukas Flückiger (Swi) Trek World Racing29 
52Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta Fitness / Specialized27 
53Christian Helmig (Lux)27 
54Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Fdj-Big Mat26 
55David Kasek (Cze)26 
56Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea26 
57Marco Ponta (Ita)25 
58Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet23 
59Mitchell Huenders (Ned)21 
60Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti21 
61Justin Lindine (USA) Redline18 
62Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencin Trek18 
63Kenneth Hansen (Den) Baboco Cycling Team15 
64Lewis Rattray (Aus)15 
65Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.De14 
66Aaron Schooler (Can)13 
67Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa)13 
68Ole Quast (Ger)12 
69Milan Barenyi (Svk)12 
70Jeremy Durrin (USA) Jam Fund / NCC11 
71Andreas Moser (Swi)11 
72Vaclav Metlicka (Svk)11 
73Alexander Revell (NZl)11 
74Robert Glajza (Svk)10 
75Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea10 
76Michael Boros (Cze)9 
77Romain Lejeune (Fra)9 
78Lukas Winterberg (Swi)9 
79Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa)8 
80Gusty Bausch (Lux)8 
81Adrien Pascal (Fra) Team Newcycling7 
82Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team NSP - Ghost7 
83Mark Mcconnell (Can)6 
84Ludwig Söderquist (Swe)5 
85Zach Mcdonald (USA) Rapha - Focus4 
86Michel Vuelta Izquierdo (Spa)4 
87Angus Edmond (NZl)4 
88David Quist (Nor)3 
89Emil Arvid Olsen (Den)3 
90Marco Bianco (Ita)3 
91Ondrej Glajza (Svk)1 


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