Sven Nys capped off a successful weekend of racing in Belgium with a victory at Vlaamse Druivenveldrit, his second win in as many days after claiming Scheldecross on Saturday. For Nys, the victory on Sunday in Overijse was his fourth overall on the tough Druivencross parcours and his second straight.
Bart Aernouts put up a valiant fight to stay with Nys entering the final lap, but the Rabobank-Giant rider could not keep pace with a flying Nys. Aernouts would finish in second place, 11 seconds off the pace, while 2007 Druivencross champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) rounded out the podium in third place a further 27 seconds back.
Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) finished in fourth place at 55 seconds on a frustrating day featuring an untimely puncture as well as a crash, both while riding at the head of the race. Twenty seven seconds after Meeusen finished, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) crossed the line in fifth place.
Meeusen and Pauwels started the race strongly, as the duo rode off the front together in the early laps. Nys joined Meeusen and Pauwels in the race lead with six laps to go, and shortly after Nys made the juncture Meeusen flatted and dropped back.
Nys and Pauwels began a short stint of cat-and-mouse racing as they eyed each other, sizing one another up, which enabled Aernouts to make contact near the end of the lap.
The trio would be joined at the head of affairs with four laps to go by a resurgent Meeusen, closely tailed by Vantornout. After recovering from his chase effort, the feisty Meeusen once again went on the attack with three laps to go and only Nys was immediately able to follow. Aernouts would take up a solo chase of the leading pair and would make contact just prior to the start of the penultimate lap.
Disaster struck for Meeusen a second time, however, as the leading trio made the left-hand turn onto the paved finishing straight. The Telenet-Fidea rider lost traction in the corner and crashed, falling from the head of the race for the second time on the day. Vantornout, riding alone in pursuit of the leaders, would catch Meeusen and soon drop him on the penultimate lap to take over third place.
Meanwhile, at the head of the race, Nys and Aernouts vied for victory in Overijse on the final two laps. Inside of two laps to go Nys put in a strong attack on a climb, gapping Aernouts, but the resilient Belgian clawed his way back to within metres of the race leader near the end of the penultimate lap.
Just as it seemed Aernouts would make contact with Nys on the finishing straight, with the bell ringing for one lap to go, the Landbouwkrediet rider surged again and this time Aernouts had no answer. Nys rode a flawless final lap on the hilly, slick course, steadily pulling away from Aernouts, providing plenty of time to savour his fourth career Druivencross victory.
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet||0:59:49|
|2||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team||0:00:11|
|3||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:00:38|
|4||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||0:00:55|
|5||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:01:22|
|6||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||0:01:51|
|7||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti||0:01:56|
|8||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl||0:02:01|
|9||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Eddy Merckx-Indeland||0:02:07|
|10||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco||0:02:13|
|11||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept||0:02:19|
|12||Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet||0:03:02|
|13||Micki Van Empel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea||0:03:07|
|14||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:03:12|
|15||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team||0:03:31|
|16||Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet - KDL||0:03:44|
|17||Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet-Fidea||0:03:49|
|18||Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||0:03:54|
|19||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles||0:03:58|
|20||Rudy van Houts (Ned)||0:04:07|
|21||Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb-Revor||0:04:21|
|22||Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl||0:04:32|
|23||Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet-Fidea||0:04:40|
|24||Patrick Gaudy (Bel) Barracuda||0:04:50|
|25||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea||0:05:08|
|26||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:05:14|
|27||Eddy Van IJzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:05:24|
|28||Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea||0:05:29|
|29||Bart Hofman (Bel)||0:05:30|
|30||Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)||0:05:31|
|31||Dave De Cleyn (Bel)||0:05:49|
|32||Kevin Cant (Bel) Van Goethem||0:06:25|
|33||Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti||0:06:54|
|34||Matthias Bossuyt (Bel)|
|35||Jo Pirotte (Bel)||-2laps|
|36||Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel)|
|37||Dries Pauwels (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace Cycling Team|
|38||Niels Koyen (Bel)|
|39||Jeremy Durrin (USA) J.A.M. Fund - NCC|
|40||Lorenzo Pepermans (Bel)||-3laps|