Cyclo-cross legend Sven Nys has reached another milestone in his illustrious career as he grabbed his 50th Superprestige victory ahead of Kevin Pauwels and Niels Albert in Geiten, The Netherlands on Sunday. The result also extended Nys' formidable record over 1980s cyclo-cross star Roland Liboton, who recorded 21 Superprestige race wins on his palmarès.
Four Superprestige events after his 49th win at the season opener in Ruddervoorde, Belgium, Nys took number 50 in style. A playful Nys even had time to grab a small "50th" trophy from fans prior to the line, before riding across the finish and into the lead of the race series. A tenth overall victory in the series is also now within the Belgian's reach. "The trophy wasn't planned but I saw those people with that thing, so I grabbed it," Nys said to VT4 afterwards.
Nys dominates in Dutch round
Gieten is the only Superprestige round outside the cyclo-cross Mecca of Flanders, Belgium. The course was a relatively straight-forward rain soaked meadow, with only a few stairs and hurdles forcing the riders off their bike. A crash from home rider Gerben De Knegt early on in the second lap offered Nys an unexpected lead.
World champion Niels Albert had a difficult time bridging up to Nys and once there was never at ease. A fresh acceleration from Nys before the race's halfway point broke Albert's hopes on winning in Gieten.
"I'm glad," said Nys. "This is a tough race and normally I don't like these 'cross races in heavy meadows, but I was well recovered from yesterday's race so I went for it. Albert was not far away, but this is a course where you can't be comfortable on the wheels," Nys said.
After losing some points on Zdenek Stybar and Albert during the three previous Superprestige races Nys appeared to have accepted his fate in the series. "The Superprestige was always one of my main goals, but I lost some points everywhere. This time I could take points on a course suited for Albert so we're equal again. I'll have to be fully concentrated in Diegem in order not to lose valuable points there. Anyway, it's better to lead by a few points than to be left chasing," Nys said.
As Nys rode away from him, Albert cracked and was brought back by Kevin Pauwels. Moments later the World Champion struggled to remount his bicycle and Pauwels took his leave as well. Second place for Pauwels was his first Superprestige podium spot in a few years, although the reserved Belgian didn't show much emotion. "Yesterday my back was sore and though I felt it today, too, this course is better for my back. Early on I was with Stybar, but he couldn't follow," Pauwels said.
Albert settled for third place after a hard-fought race to make the podium and save his overall Superprestige ranking. "I'm happy that I can head to Spain now," said Albert, referring to most riders' plans to stay in Spain for two weeks in order to combine a training camp with the World Cup in Igorre next week. "The last two weeks haven't been 100 per cent. It's ideal to leave the country for two weeks. Without a doubt Sven was the best today. The level is that high that if you're not 100 per cent that it's not possible to win. My manager told me not to think too much about these races and that we'll be better soon," Albert said.
Zdenek Stybar, winner of the World Cup round in Koksijde one day earlier, wasn't able to win a fourth consecutive race. Early on he was able to follow Pauwels, but eventually had to fight hard to hold off a large group in order to protect his fourth place. "Actually I'm happy. I didn't lose a lot of points on a course that doesn't suit me. Of course I would've liked to be on the podium. I was tired, like many others, but I'm happy that I didn't finish tenth," said Stybar.
The most surprising performance in Gieten came from young German rider Philip Walsleben who took seventh place. No mean feat during his first year as Elite rider. "A surprise? Not a big one for me. We set up a plan in which I wouldn't race on Saturday so I'd be fresh at the start of this one. It worked and that's how I was able to finish seventh," said Walsleben.
Sole US-starter Jonathan Page managed to get the hole shot and fought hard to hold his position, but the demanding course saw him drop back through the field. He eventually finished 15th to grab the only remaining Superprestige point, his first this season.
The Superprestige series will now take a break until the next round in Diegem, Belgium on December 27.
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago||0:59:15|
|2||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:27|
|3||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:01:02|
|4||Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:17|
|5||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank||0:01:21|
|6||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob||0:01:25|
|7||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Team BKCP-Power Plus||0:01:28|
|8||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob||0:01:32|
|9||Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux||0:01:34|
|10||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas||0:01:49|
|11||Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago||0:01:55|
|12||Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank|
|13||Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie||0:02:09|
|14||Ben Berden (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team||0:02:14|
|15||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike||0:02:22|
|16||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:02:45|
|17||Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV||0:02:53|
|18||Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Baboco Revor Continental Team||0:03:10|
|19||Radomír Šimunek Ml (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus||0:03:30|
|20||Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:03:35|
|21||Marco Bianco (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team||0:03:43|
|22||Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW||0:03:57|
|23||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel||0:04:04|
|24||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof||0:04:08|
|25||Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida||0:04:21|
|26||Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:05:40|
|27||Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) KED Bianchi Berlin||0:06:27|
|28||Ivar Hartogs (Ned) ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida|
|29||Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned) Sint Oedenrode|
|30||Jerry Kallenfels (Ned) Easypay Cyclocross Team|
|31||Jordy Luisman (Ned)|
|32||Magnus Darvell (Swe)|
|33||Boldbaatar Bold-Erdene (Mgl)|
|34||Kaey Van Rij (Ned)|
|35||Ariunbold Naranbat (Mgl)|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago||71||pts|
|2||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||69|
|3||Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||67|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob||56|
|5||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||51|
|6||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank||45|
|7||Radomír Šimunek Ml (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus||32|
|8||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob||31|
|9||Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team||31|
|10||Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank||30|
|11||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas||26|
|12||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||22|
|13||Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago||18|
|14||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Team BKCP-Power Plus||14|
|15||Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV||12|
|16||Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux||7|
|17||Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team||4|
|18||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof||3|
|19||Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie||3|
|20||Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida||3|
|21||Ben Berden (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team||2|
|22||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike||1|
|23||Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne||1|
|24||John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||1|
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