Nys dominates Fidea Cyclo-cross Leuven

With his tenth victory of the season Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) captured his fifth win out of five races in Leuven, Belgium during the last round of the Fidea Classics, turning those into the Sven Nys Classics. In Leuven Nys won ahead of Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) and French champion Francis Mourey (FDJ). Several top riders skipped the race in Leuven.

"It's a very nice winning streak. I'm glad I won here today but now I have to rest so that I'll be ready for Baal where everybody else will probably be at their best over there," Nys said on tv-channel VT4.

Eventual winner Nys moved onto the wheel of a quick-starting Peeters together with Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) on the first lap. Nys' teammate Sven Vanthourenhout (Landbouwkrediet) and German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) were chasing at short distance after the first lap while a large group with Lars Boom (Rabobank), Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea), Francis Mourey and Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) followed at twelve seconds from the three leaders. Mountain bike star Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized), the reigning cross country world champion, lost half a minute during the first lap.

While Peeters and Simunek set the pace up front, Nys backed off the pace slightly to await his teammate Sven Vanthourenhout. Once Vanthourenhout and Nys bridged back up the latter tried to slow the pace in front, but that trick didn't work out.

"I tried to get Sven into the lead group but Rob quickly took over the command and from there it was everybody for himself," Nys said.

"It wasn't quite a present for me because right away I had to let them go again," Vanthourenhout added.

At the end of the second lap Peeters and Nys powered perfectly through a muddy section and suddenly they had a huge gap of fifteen seconds over the first chasers: Mourey, Simunek, Vanthourenhout, Walsleben and Page. The latter lost ground during the fourth lap and dropped into a group with Wellens and Boom.

Mourey proved to be the strongest man in the chase and the Frenchman steamed towards the lead duo on his own. At the start of the fourth lap Mourey was only four seconds down on the two leaders while Vanthourenhout and Simunek trailed them by twenty seconds.

Nys didn't allow Mourey to make contact, however, as the Belgian set a rapid tempo through the first technical zone. Peeters stood tall but Mourey lost valuable time on that fourth lap.

Further back Simunek and Vanthourenhout remained in each other's company while a group with Walsleben, Wellens and Page was nearly a minute down on the leaders. The positions remained the same during the sixth lap although Boom started losing a lot of ground and the Dutch champion tumbled out of the top-15.

Waiting for the inevitable...

It was money time on the sixth lap as Nys moved into a higher gear at the first technical section. At first Peeters seemed to have an answer for Nys but by the end of the lap he trailed the Landbouwkrediet rider by four seconds. A comeback and an exciting finale wasn't possible and Peeters ended up consolidating his second place position during the last two laps.

"He knew my weak point in the start of the lap. I dropped and actually I dropped seriously as I lost almost half a minute right away," Peeters said.

Barring a last lap catastrophe amongst the top three, the podium spots were decided as Nys, Peeters and Mourey began the final circuit. Nys held a 32-second advantage on Peeters and a 1:10 margin on Mourey. Behind them Simunek ultimately got the best of Vanthourenhout as they crossed the line in fourth and fifth respectively.

In the next chase group with Page, Walsleben and Wellens the latter crashed into the fencing during the penultimate lap and he pulled out of the race. Page bobbled at a ditch and Walsleben easily headed for sixth place. The seventh place for Page is his best result in Belgium this season and it will boost the confidence of the American one week ahead of his national championships in Madison, Wisconsin.

Another notable result was the ninth place for Spain's Egoitz Murgoitio (Grupo Hirumet Taldea) behind first year professional Joeri Adams (Telenet-Fidea). Kenneth Van Compernolle (Style & Concept) completed the top-10 in Leuven.

Race notes

Florian Vogel (Scott-Swisspower) was the best of the mountain bike stars by finishing in eighteenth place. His usual rival Kulhavy finished twenty-fifth in Leuven.

Before the race Nys promised to offer the winner's flowers to birthday boy Lars Boom. The now 26-year-old Dutch champion ultimately finished fifteenth.

On New Year's Day the top cyclo-cross riders battle each other on the home turf of Nys and Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) in Baal, Belgium for the sixth round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy.

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Full Results
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet1:00:10
2Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea0:00:55
3Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ0:01:16
4Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:26
5Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:01:31
6Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:02:05
7Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles0:02:14
8Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea0:02:26
9Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hirumet Taldea0:02:30
10Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team0:02:36
11Kevin Cant (Bel) Van Goethem0:02:44
12Patrick Gaudy (Bel) Barracuda0:02:54
13Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:03:08
14Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:03:12
15Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank0:03:25
16Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:03:31
17Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:03:54
18Florian Vögel (Swi)0:04:16
19Dave De Cleyn (Bel) Scott USA Cycling Team0:04:38
20Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea0:04:46
21Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet-Fidea0:04:56
22Martin Gujan (Swi) Cannondale Factory Racing0:04:59
23Tomas Paprstka (Cze)0:05:29
24Jo Pirotte (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace0:05:36
25Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze) Specialized0:05:52
26Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Team AA Drink-Leontien.nl0:06:21
27Bart Verschueren (Bel) KDL-Landbouwkrediet0:06:35
28Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team NSPRow 27 - Cell 2
29Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace-2laps
30Bart De Vocht (Bel)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Stijn Mortelmans (Bel) PalmansRow 30 - Cell 2
32Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Christophe Balannec (Fra)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Dries Pauwels (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace Cycling TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) Telenet-FideaRow 34 - Cell 2
36Kristof Zegers (Bel)Row 35 - Cell 2
37Pablo Rodriguez Guede (Spa)-3laps
38Quentin Bertholet (Bel)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Bart Barkhuis (Ned)Row 38 - Cell 2
40Yoann Corbihan (Fra) Hennebont Cyclisme-4laps
41Jake Wells (USA) Stan's NoTubes Elite Cyclocross TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Alexis Caresmel (Fra)Row 41 - Cell 2
43Élie Regost (Fra)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Michael Cotty (GBr)Row 43 - Cell 2
45Felix Coté Bouvette (Can)Row 44 - Cell 2
46Kiernan Orange (Can) Ride with RendallRow 45 - Cell 2
47Bruce Dalton (GBr)Row 46 - Cell 2

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