Albert claims World Cup victory in Rome

Van der Haar and Nys take second and third

An impressive solo ride from Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) in Rome, Italy, delivered him his second World Cup win of the season. In the sixth round of the World Cup, the 27-year-old Belgian left his last rivals behind in the third of eight laps.

Albert galloped through strong winds, a sudden heavy rain shower and then faced a late comeback from world champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink), World Cup leader Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) and French champion Francis Morey ( Albert withstood all of it, keeping a small five seconds gap at the finish line in front of the grandstand of the somewhat desolated Capanelle hippodrome.

Van der Haar outsprinted Nys for second place, which sees the young Dutchman strengthen his overall lead in the World Cup as Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus), previously second, had an off-day and could only manage an eleventh place finish in Rome. Albert now holds second place, albeit a massive 54 points behind World Cup leader Van der Haar, ahead of the final round in Nommay, France, in three weeks’ time.

“It was a very hard one. The track was very muddy with the rain of last night and today. It was a hard race,” Albert said. In the closing laps, Albert struggled. “On Friday we did a hard training and I was tired. On the last two laps, everything was hurting. Sven [Nys] is not unbeatable. They were coming but I was consolidating my advantage. It was tricky with those small rocks on the course.”

During the first laps of the race, Albert was already dominant. He featured in the lead group that quickly separated itself from the rest of the pack. The group included Albert, his teammate Walsleben, Mourey and Martin Bina (Kwadro-Stannah), with Mourey quickly shifting back on the second lap.

Having Walsleben in front was disastrous for the World Cup leader Van der Haar as he was riding outside the top 10, half a minute down on the leaders. “I was nervous for a muddy race like this one and I started with a Typhoon profile at the back. I didn’t have a good start, didn’t get going and was sliding away everywhere,” Van der Haar told Sporza. Little later he switched bikes to get better grip. “It turned out I had good legs and I started moving up.”

The race turned when Albert put the hammer down early on in the third lap, and soon he was alone in front. He quickly created a gap of fifteen seconds on Bina and Walsleben, who were caught by Mourey. Halfway through the race, Walsleben waved goodbye to his World Cup ambitions as he was dropped, and one lap later, he was overtaken by Van der Haar. The number two in the World Cup continued to lose ground for the remainder of the race. “I started my race optimistically but ended up not being so good. I had a minor crash and setback. I felt like I was the only rider who was sliding away. Hopefully I feel better in Nommay so I can hold on to my third place in the World Cup,” Walsleben said.

With three laps to go Van der Haar caught up with Bina and Mourey, who were only about twenty seconds behind lone leader Albert, with Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink Cycling Team) and Sven Nys ten seconds further back.

Nys was clearly going well at this stage of the race. He dropped Van Amerongen and overtook fading Bina, and he suddenly caught up with Van der Haar halfway through the penultimate lap. When hitting the final lap, Albert only had 13 seconds in hand on Mourey, and just 17 seconds on Nys and Van der Haar. A rampant Nys soon caught Mourey, and the trio then set their sights on Albert. But the gap was too great even for the world champion, and Albert duly reached the finish line with a handful of seconds to spare over Van der Haar, who outsprinted Nys for second place.

“I tried to come back and that seemed to be working out but the race was one lap too short. Switching bikes was important. In the final laps I was riding around with a pressure of 1.2kg and that was ideal on a course that become more and more slippery. I had a lot of power to set the pace on the long straight sections. I’m satisfied even though I’m not winning,” Nys told Sporza.

Mourey settled for fourth place, well ahead of Bina. Meanwhile, Rob Peeters (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) recovered from a poor start to put in a solid ride that earned him a good sixth place, just ahead of Van Amerongen.

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) is struggling with illness and skipped the race in Rome in favour of a training camp in Calpe, Spain. He drops from third to fifth overall as both Albert and his teammate Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) overtook him on Sunday afternoon. Pauwels had a poor start and suffered a mechanical in the second lap of the race that saw him slip back to thirtieth position, but he gamely fought back to take thirteenth place at the finish line.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus1:06:33 
2Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:04 
3Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink0:00:05 
4Francis Mourey (Fra) Fdj.Fr0:00:11 
5Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro - Stannah0:00:41 
6Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team0:00:45 
7Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:50 
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:01 
9Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:01:16 
10Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:19 
11Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:32 
12Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:35 
13Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:01:45 
14Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:01:53 
15Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:02:08 
16Sascha Weber (Ger) Veranclassic - Doltcini0:02:14 
17Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti0:02:18 
18Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:20 
19Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet - Fidea  
20Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:02:22 
21Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:23 
22Mirko Tabacchi (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Forestale0:02:36 
23Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Odlo MTB Racing Team0:02:49 
24Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Kwadro - Stannah0:03:09 
25Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica0:03:16 
26Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro - Stannah0:03:21 
27Luca Braidot (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Forestale0:03:28 
28Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott - Odlo MTB Racing Team0:03:36 
29Simon Zahner (Swi) Ekz Racing Team0:03:37 
30Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles0:03:38 
31Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:43 
32Kenneth Hansen (Den) Cannondale - Haderslev0:04:02 
33Lukas Winterberg (Swi) MG - Cycling Team0:04:24 
34Daniel Geismayr (Aut)0:04:26 
35Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor0:04:31 
36Micki Van Empel (Ned) Kdl Cycling Team0:04:50 
37Andreas Moser (Swi) Zaunteam Mittelland0:04:54 
38Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti0:05:00 
39Steve Chainel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:05:13 
40Christian Helmig (Lux)0:05:17 
41Bryan Falaschi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti0:05:18 
42Fabio Ursi (Ita) Cx Merida Team - Dama Drc0:05:34 
43Emil Hekele (Cze) Stevens Bikes - Emilio Sport0:06:29 
44Thomas Paccagnella (Ita) Sportivi Del Ponte0:06:33 
45Christoph Ambroziak (Ger) Gunsha Racing Team0:06:46 
46Mike Garrigan (Can) Van Dessel0:06:54 
47Calle Friberg (Swe) Scott Sports0:06:59 
-1lapJeremy Durrin (USA) Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies  
-2lapsYannick Mayer (Ger) Team Baier Landshut  
-2lapsRobert Glajza (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica  
Elite men World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team407 pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus353 
3Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus344 
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team313 
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team279 
6Francis Mourey (Fra) Fdj.Fr270 
7Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team267 
8Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink264 
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team264 
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace248 
11Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro - Stannah237 
12Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea229 
13Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti218 
14Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet - Fidea209 
15Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet - Fidea199 
16Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea198 
17Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Kwadro - Stannah197 
18Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro - Stannah188 
19Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Odlo MTB Racing Team185 
20Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus163 
21Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team161 
22Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica160 
23Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea148 
24Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles148 
25Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus142 
26Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team129 
27Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor123 
28Sascha Weber (Ger) Veranclassic - Doltcini120 
29Simon Zahner (Swi) Ekz Racing Team119 
30Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro - Stannah118 
31Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji / Spy Optics108 
32Fabien Canal (Fra)97 
33Micki Van Empel (Ned) Kdl Cycling Team95 
34Kenneth Hansen (Den) Cannondale - Haderslev82 
35Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa) Lizarte81 
36Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze) Johnson Controls As Ml. Bol.79 
37Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hirumet Taldea76 
38Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team70 
39Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito68 
40Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Team Natubalans - Apex66 
41Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team65 
42Robert Gavenda (Svk)63 
43Arnaud Grand (Swi) Bmc Development Team55 
44Lukas Winterberg (Swi) MG - Cycling Team52 
45Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa) Specialized - Garmar44 
46Steve Chainel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale37 
47Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing36 
48Andreas Moser (Swi) Zaunteam Mittelland36 
49Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra)35 
50Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team Baier Landshut34 
51Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro - Stannah32 
52Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls As Ml. Bol.30 
53Mirko Tabacchi (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Forestale29 
54Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Kalas Merida29 
55Nicolas Bazin (Fra)25 
56Ole Quast (Ger) Stevens Racing Team25 
57Luca Braidot (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Forestale24 
58Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott - Odlo MTB Racing Team23 
59Michal Malik (Cze) Kc Kooperativa Sg Jablonec23 
60Milan Barenyi (Svk) Trek KCK Oslany22 
61Christian Helmig (Lux)22 
62Jordy Luisman (Ned) Team Lemelerveld18 
63Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer - Caravanos Erandio18 
64Daniel Geismayr (Aut)17 
65Joachim Parbo (Den) Cielo - Challenge - Bicyclista17 
66Christoph Pfingsten (Ger)15 
67Emil Hekele (Cze) Stevens Bikes - Emilio Sport15 
68Christoph Ambroziak (Ger) Gunsha Racing Team15 
69Michael (Jr) Schweizer (Ger) Stevens Racing Team14 
70Ludovic Renard (Fra) Vs Chartrain14 
71Marco Bianco (Ita) Carraro Team Trentino14 
72Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti13 
73Agustin Navarro Vidal (Spa) Ciudad De Oviedo - Nesta11 
74Aaron Schooler (Can) H&R BloCK11 
75Bryan Falaschi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti10 
76Jeremy Durrin (USA) Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies10 
77Jon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer - Caravanos Erandio10 
78Angus Edmond (NZl) Stevens - Malteni10 
79Fabio Ursi (Ita) Cx Merida Team - Dama Drc9 
80Guillaume Perrot (Fra) Ec St Etienne - Loire9 
81Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Veranclassic - Doltcini8 
82Thomas Paccagnella (Ita) Sportivi Del Ponte7 
83Jan Nesvadba (Cze) Madeta Fitness / Specialized7 
84Filip Adel (Cze) Kc Hlinsko6 
85Mike Garrigan (Can) Van Dessel5 
86Zach Mcdonald (USA) Rapha - Focus5 
87Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) Stevens Racing Team5 
88Calle Friberg (Swe) Scott Sports4 
89Max Walsleben (Ger)4 
90Fredrik Edin (Swe) Cykloteket Racing Team4 
91Lukas Batora (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica2 
92Robert Glajza (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica2 
93Luc Lutsen (Fra) VC Toucy1 
94Michel Vuelta Izquierdo (Spa) Nestor Martin1 


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