Albert holds off Nys in Tervuren

Niels Albert showed he is on form for next week's Belgian national cyclo-cross championships by winning the fourth and final round of the Fidea Cyclocross Classics in Tervuren, Belgium on Sunday.

After a slow start on the demanding muddy course, the 24-year-old Belgian bridged up to early leader Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) halfway through the race and then quickly left him behind. Belgian champion Nys tried to put the pressure on the leader but a small crash on the greasy course ended his chances of a comeback and Albert grabbed his fifth victory of the season.

“This one is unexpected. With my eye on the championships I wanted to take it easy but my legs started feeling good and I decided to go full gas anyway,” Albert told Belgian television channel VT4.

Nys was disappointed to crash and lose any chance of getting across to Albert, now his biggest rival for the Belgian national champion's jersey.

“During the first few laps I was struggling but then the engine suddenly started running," he explained. "I was hampered by crashes in front of my nose but once I had an open field in front of me I believed in my chances. My chances ended when I crashed. I would've loved to bridge up to him but I couldn't gain ground on him."

Telenet-Fidea's Tom Meeusen rounded out the podium. The young Belgian showed off his technical skills by hopping over the barriers. After the race Meeusen was shivering from the cold but was satisfied with third.

“Riding in shorts was a mistake with the icy water in the forest," he admitted. "I tried to support the attack from Peeters by doing some blocking work. Eventually I noticed Sven and Niels were better and I focused on third place."

Peeters' strong race was rewarded with a fourth place at the finish line. “I had a good start and quickly got a gap. I went full gas. Once I noticed they came back at me, I tried to recover in order to keep up. It wasn't possible. I made some mistakes and I quickly lost some positions,” Peeters said.

After leading the chase of Peeters, world champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) faded back during the second half of the race. Last year's winner in Tervuren eventually finished in seventh place, well behind Albert.

“I didn't have a great start but eventually I led the chase with Niels. Then I made too many mistakes and started getting cold. I lost my focus too,” Stybar said on VT4.

The USA's Jonathan Page managed the hole shot but on the long sloping running section he quickly lost ground. During the first laps he rode together with Nys and Albert but he failed to join the Belgians on the way up to the front of the race. Page eventually finished 12th.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:59:10
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:21
3Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:55
4Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:24
5Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:26
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:31
7Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:43
8Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:46
10Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:02:28
11Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:29
12Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:03:14
13Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:04:19
14Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:04:25
15Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team0:04:41
16Marek Cichosz (Pol)0:04:46
17Matthias Bossuyt (Bel)0:04:50
18Patrick Gaudy (Bel)0:05:19
19Marek Konwa (Pol)0:05:22
20Mike Thielemans (Bel)0:05:42
21Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned)0:05:53
22Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux)0:06:06
23Bram Schmitz (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof0:06:12
24Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace0:06:16
25Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:06:28
26Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans0:06:44
27 (-1 lap)Kevin Cant (Bel)Row 26 - Cell 2
28 (-2 laps)Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Rikke Dijkxhoorn (Ned) Van Vliet EBH ElshofRow 28 - Cell 2
30Tom De Kort (Bel)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Matteo Trentin (Ita)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Kevin Eeckhout (Bel) Sunweb-RevorRow 31 - Cell 2
33Gianni Denolf (Bel) Baboco - Revor Cycling TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Daniel Ruiz (Spa)Row 33 - Cell 2
35Geert Wellens (Bel) Champion System LBS TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36 (-3 laps)Brian Matter (USA) Gear GrinderRow 35 - Cell 2
37Xabier Garcia (Spa)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Ryan Iddings (USA) RedlineRow 37 - Cell 2
39Mark Lalonde (USA) SpecializedRow 38 - Cell 2
40Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)Row 39 - Cell 2
41Dries Pauwels (Bel)Row 40 - Cell 2
42Sean Babcock (USA) KonaRow 41 - Cell 2
43 (-4 laps)Sven Van Eyndt (Bel)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Ritchie Denolf (Bel)Row 43 - Cell 2
45 (-5 laps)Shaun Adamson (Can) Cycle-SmartRow 44 - Cell 2
46Hikura Kosaka (Jpn)Row 45 - Cell 2

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