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Meeusen sprints to victory

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Bart Wellens (Telenet - Fidea) was having a good day until a crash knocked him out of the race.

Bart Wellens (Telenet - Fidea) was having a good day until a crash knocked him out of the race. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) suffered a horrendous crash in Geiten

Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) suffered a horrendous crash in Geiten (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bart Wellens landed in a ditch after slipping on an icy patch.

Bart Wellens landed in a ditch after slipping on an icy patch. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bart Wellens lands quite uncomfortably on the frozen ground in Gieten.

Bart Wellens lands quite uncomfortably on the frozen ground in Gieten. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fortunately, Wellens emerged relatively unscathed. Nothing broken at least.

Fortunately, Wellens emerged relatively unscathed. Nothing broken at least. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) finished a distant 17th

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) finished a distant 17th (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus)

Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) was thrilled to nab a podium spot in Gieten.

Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) was thrilled to nab a podium spot in Gieten. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sven Nys was in the hunt until breaking his pedal in the finale.

Sven Nys was in the hunt until breaking his pedal in the finale. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sven Nys runs in his bike after snapping off his pedal in Gieten.

Sven Nys runs in his bike after snapping off his pedal in Gieten. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) proved himself in Gieten.

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) proved himself in Gieten. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Superprestige podium in Gieten: Radomir Simunek Jr, Tom Meeusen and Dieter Vanthourenhout

The Superprestige podium in Gieten: Radomir Simunek Jr, Tom Meeusen and Dieter Vanthourenhout (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tom Meeusen celebrates his win in the Superprestige Gieten

Tom Meeusen celebrates his win in the Superprestige Gieten (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Belgian champion Sven Nys defended his lead in the Superprestige Series.

Belgian champion Sven Nys defended his lead in the Superprestige Series. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Radomir Simunek Jr. (BKCP - Powerplus) would finish the day on the podium in second place.

Radomir Simunek Jr. (BKCP - Powerplus) would finish the day on the podium in second place. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Mitchell Huenders (BKCP - Powerplus)

Mitchell Huenders (BKCP - Powerplus) (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) picks himself up from a crash in Gieten.

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) picks himself up from a crash in Gieten. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thijs Al (AA Drink Cycling Team) finished 20th in Gieten.

Thijs Al (AA Drink Cycling Team) finished 20th in Gieten. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink Cycling Team)

Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink Cycling Team) (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea) leads Sven Nys.

Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea) leads Sven Nys. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea) negotiates one of many tight turns on the course.

Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea) negotiates one of many tight turns on the course. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea) en route to victory.

Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea) en route to victory. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) had an off-day and finished 17th.

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) had an off-day and finished 17th. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) in action on the frozen course in Gieten.

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) in action on the frozen course in Gieten. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) dismounts for a flight of stairs.

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) dismounts for a flight of stairs. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet)

Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) was a contender for victory until the final straight.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) was a contender for victory until the final straight. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Sunset in Gieten, The Netherlands.

Sunset in Gieten, The Netherlands. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Eddy van Ijzendoorn (AA Drink Cycling Team) finished the day in 6th place.

Eddy van Ijzendoorn (AA Drink Cycling Team) finished the day in 6th place. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Italy's Enrico Franzoi (BKCP - Powerplus) runs a short flight of stairs.

Italy's Enrico Franzoi (BKCP - Powerplus) runs a short flight of stairs. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) in action.

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) in action. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) runs the stairs.

Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) runs the stairs. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Yesterday's World Cup winner Niels Albert (BCKP - Powerplus) was not a factor in Gieten.

Yesterday's World Cup winner Niels Albert (BCKP - Powerplus) was not a factor in Gieten. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Peter Dlask (Telenet - Fidea)

Peter Dlask (Telenet - Fidea) (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Men's podium (l-r): Radomir Simunek Jr., 2nd; Tom Meeusen, 1st; Dieter Vanthourenhout, 3rd

Men's podium (l-r): Radomir Simunek Jr., 2nd; Tom Meeusen, 1st; Dieter Vanthourenhout, 3rd (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Radomir Simunek Jr. (BKCP - Powerplus) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea) at the head of the race.

Radomir Simunek Jr. (BKCP - Powerplus) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea) at the head of the race. (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea)

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) (Image credit: Bert Geerts/dcp-bertgeerts@xs4all.nl)

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) grabbed the biggest win of his career in a tumultuous fifth round of the Superprestige Series in Gieten, The Netherlands. The 23-year-old Belgian sprinted to victory from a four-man leader's group after a fast race on frozen subsoil.

Superprestige leader Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) was on Meeusen's wheel at the start of the paved finishing straight, but the Belgian champion snapped off his left pedal and was forced to run across the finish line. BKCP-Powerplus teammates Radomir Simunek and Dieter Vanthourenhout, also part of the four man lead group, both passed Nys to finish second and third while Nys had to settle for fourth.

"I'm super happy because this is my first big win," Meeusen said. "It's sad to see what happened with Sven because I'd rather beat him on his true value. Then again, 'cross is 'cross and today I won. Riding on a frozen subsoil was to my advantage because the best riders can't transfer their power on the bike like they usually do."

For runner-up Radomir Simunek Jr. (BKCP-Powerplus) it's the first major podium result of the season in a race dedicated to his father who passed away last summer. On the podium he received the flowers from his mother. "I'm very satisfied. Today I fought for my dad. I rode at 110 percent," Simunek said.

Meeusen's delight was in high contrast with Nys' frustration about his broken pedal. "I'm lucky not to crash hard," Nys said. His fourth place finish wasn't a bad result after all since his rivals for the Superprestige Series had an off-day. "I'm doing a good job in the series but I'm a winner and I'd rather had two points more; I'm annoyed that I didn't win."

Only Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) was able to score a sizeable amount of points, finishing fifth at 45 seconds off the pace of the four leaders. The other stars didn't shine in Gieten. Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) crashed hard when trying to close the gap to the four leaders. The experienced Belgian headed straight to the hospital while complaining about pain in his neck and wrist.

Saturday's World Cup winner Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) had a complete off-day on Sunday. After a disastrous start he never recovered and eventually pulled out of the race. World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) was riding near the front of the race but ran into difficulties on the icy parcours. "I made a small mistake and had to switch bikes. After taking a new bike I bobbled. It's a real shame to lose out on the Superprestige after fighting so hard for it in Hamme-Zogge despite my sore knee," Stybar said. The world champion eventually failed to score any Superprestige points by finishing in 17th position.

Compared to the tough World Cup course in Koksijde on Saturday, the riders found a fast, frozen and twisting course in the north of The Netherlands. The average speed on the tricky course reached 29 km/h, challenging the bike handling skills of the riders as the circuit grew slipperier throughout the race.

Four riders separated themselves from the field approximately half way through the race and steadily extended their lead: Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet), Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and BKCP-Powerplus riders Dieter Vanthourenhout and Radomir Simunek Jr.

Meeusen and Nys proved the strongest of this group and the duo held a slight gap over the BKCP-Powerplus teammates entering the finishing straight. Meeusen led out the sprint with Nys tucked in behind, but the Belgian champion's left pedal snapped off the crankarm providing Meeusen with his biggest victory to date.

Full Results
1Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team1:02:40
2Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:10
3Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
4Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:25
5Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:45
6Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team
8Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team
9Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team
10Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:55
11Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:01:00
12Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:20
13Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team0:01:25
14Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team0:01:30
15Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:01:35
16Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor
17Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:40
18Mitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus0:02:10
19Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team
20Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team
21Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor
22Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans0:02:25
23Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:02:55
24Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:03:55
25Jordy Luisman (Ned) RSE Cycling Team0:04:05
26Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Van Vliet EBH Elshof0:04:15
27Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)0:04:25
28Johannes Sickmüller (Ger) Stevens Racing Team0:05:25
29Tim Ottens (Ned)-3laps
30Michael Stenzel (Ger)-4laps
31Jorge Cantalicio (Spa)
32Frank Huisman (Ned)-5laps
33Jos Feiken (Ned)-6laps
34Alberto Candelas (Spa)
35Kaey Van Rij (Ned) PRC Delta

Superprestige Series standings after 5 rounds
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet68pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team56
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team51
4Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team49
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus46
6Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team45
7Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team39
8Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor35
9Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team28
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team23
11Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus18
12Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team17
13Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus17
14Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor15
15Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus14
16Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom12
17Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus12
18Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team11
19Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team11
20Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor9
21Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team7
22Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com4
23Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans3
24Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3
25Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike3
26Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team2
27Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team1
28Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team1

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