Veteran Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) won the opening round of the Bpost Bank Trophy cyclo-cross series in Ronse, Belgium. The Belgian champion is the first leader of the series with a massive lead of one minute over Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus).
One and a half laps, that’s the short distance Sven Nys rode witht his rivals in the GP Mario De Clercq. After grabbing the 15 bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint the Belgian champion took off for a long solo ride at the Hotondberg. Mathieu van der Poel proved to be best of the rest, finishing at 50 seconds from Nys, just ahead of Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games).
“Ever since Cross Vegas I’ve been enjoying good form. This was a reference ride on a Swiss-like course. I’d prefer more mud but I had a super day. I’m proud of myself for this victory. I wanted to win the intermediate sprint but afterwards I noticed the others were gasping for air. I was unsure if I could win, certainly in this style but the one minute bonus is a big advantage for the upcoming rounds,” Nys told Sporza after his splendid victory.
Youngster Mathieu van der Poel displayed his good form straight from the start. The Dutchman quickly created a gap and showed off by gaining air time at the pit area. Nevertheless he shifted back and was overtaken by Sven Nys and world champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) by the end of the opening lap.
“I briefly hit the red zone and when Nys passed me in a running section I struggled. I expected to receive a big blow but managed to recover,” Van der Poel told Sporza.
Stybar never expected to be battling with Nys for the victory during his short cyclo-cross intermezzo and the Czech too looked back. “I was surprised to be in front and was overdoing it a bit. I was unable to recover for two, three laps. Especially on the running sections, which were killing me, but it was fun,” Stybar told Sporza.
In the meantime Nys cruised around on the technical course which featured multiple long steep sections on the Hotondberg. Knowing that Van der Poel and Stybar will not be riding all rounds of the Bpost Bank Trophy Nys’ biggest rivals were Vantornout and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) who featured in the first chase group with Van der Poel.
Lap after lap Nys extended his lead over the first chasers. Halfway through the race the four chasers were half a minute behind Nys and that gap continued to grow. Stybar was accompanied by Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) at 45 seconds from the leader.
In the closing laps Vantornout attacked for second place but he was brought back by the Dutch riders in the group. When Van der Poel tried his luck three laps from the finish the Sunweb-riders were unable to react.
Despite a minor crash Van der Poel managed to hold off Vantornout for second place. Pauwels and Van der Haar made it a close finish for fourth place. The photo finish showed that the Belgian rider’s front wheel was less than an inch ahead of Van der Haar. Meeusen got rid of Stybar in the closing laps and claimed sixth place at 1:40 from Nys. The world champion was also overtaken by Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) in the final lap and finished in eighth place.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team||1:00:58|
|2||Mathieu Van der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||0:00:50|
|3||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:00:54|
|4||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:01:04|
|5||Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Giant-Shimano Development Team||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|6||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:40|
|7||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||0:01:49|
|8||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep Cycling Team||0:01:59|
|9||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:02:01|
|10||Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||0:02:21|
|11||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:27|
|12||Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||0:02:34|
|13||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:39|
|14||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:02:43|
|15||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||0:02:57|
|16||Julien Taramarcaz (Sui) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:03:00|
|17||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||0:03:05|
|18||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team||Row 17 - Cell 2|
|19||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:03:12|
|21||Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:03:36|
|22||Patrick Gaudy (Bel) Veranclassic-Doltcini Cycling Team||0:03:46|
|23||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:03:58|
|24||Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:04:25|
|25||Kevin Van Hoovels (Bel)||0:05:00|
|26||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike||Row 25 - Cell 2|
|27||Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||Row 26 - Cell 2|
|28||Martin Bina (Cze) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|29||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Project Cross Racing||Row 28 - Cell 2|
|30||Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Esp)||Row 29 - Cell 2|
|31||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||Eddy Van IJzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Hendrik Sweeck (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|34||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|35||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|36||Niels Koyen (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team||Row 35 - Cell 2|
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