Albert out on top in bpost Bank Trophy Loenhout

The traditional Azencross in Loenhout turned into a muddy day of fortune for world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus). In the fifth round of the time-based Bpost Bank Trofee series Albert beat Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma – Quickstep) after an exciting duel. A mud-clad Albert released a big scream and threw his fist in the air when crossing the line.

In high contrast with the joy of Albert was the frustration of Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony). The Belgian champion went twice over the handlebars into the mud and lost a lot of time in the time-based cyclo-cross series. During the bell lap Nys even left the course to chase down a spectator who threw beer at him. Eventually Nys abandoned the race just before hitting the finishing straight. In the general classification Albert comfortably leads the series. Pauwels is runner-up at more than five minutes. Nys tumbled from second place to fourth at 6:21 behind Albert.

“I always enjoy riding here in Loenhout. I receive some booing too but also receive a lot of support. It’s like the world championships. It’s sad that these situations are part of cyclo-cross these days,” Albert said on Sporza. “This morning I already checked out the course and I knew where the best tracks were, that was pleasant during the race. Normally the overall win in the series is mine although I can still run into problems too. Now I can wait-and-see and prepare for the championships.”

Albert wasn’t spotted near the front during the first lap when a big group of fifteen riders led the race, most of them avoided a spectacular crash from Julien Taramarcaz (BMC). Later during that opening lap Nys hooked his handlebars around a pole and crashed a first time, and trailed by half a minute after the incident.

Halfway through the second lap Albert moved forward when the race reached the intermediate sprint with 15 bonus seconds. Albert grabbed those, increasing his series lead over Nys up to more than a minute. By continuing his efforts it was clear Albert was having a good day. Only Stybar and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) were able to keep up with the world champion.

Early on in the third lap Nys rode into a puddle which ended up being a ditch. This time Nys went headfirst into the mud behind the fencing. He continued but halfway through the race Nys trailed the three leaders by more than a minute. Albert kept the pace high in front and when starting the fifth lap Vantornout cracked, quickly losing 15 seconds on Albert and Stybar. “Albert rode very fast and I hit the red zone,” Vantornout said on Sporza.

When starting the penultimate lap things turned awkward for Albert, who suddenly got dropped by an unleashed Stybar in the first muddy sections of the course. The Czech quickly put Albert at 7 seconds and seemed to be heading for the win. “I wasn’t accelerating,” Stybar told Sporza. “I was just having a good line in the mud and kept riding at my limit. I didn’t do any specific training or intervals so I didn’t have any accelerations in my legs.” Just before the end of the lap Albert got back into his rhythm and when entering the first meadows during the final lap the two were back together. In the final technical sections Stybar struggled and Albert punched away from the tired Czech champion.

Meanwhile Nys was spotted chasing down a spectator after being hit by a beer cup. The Belgian champion must have been highly frustrated but didn't get physical towards the young man. Other spectators seemed to take care of that part.

Albert took a nice win with Stybar being an impressive road rider in second place. The Czech also saw some beer cups flying around during his race. "I saw some coming but I'm a beer drinker so I didn't mind too much about that," Stybar said.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) rode most of the race alone in fourth place but he profited from his teammate’s bad luck to grab the last spot on the podium. “I wasn’t lucky early on due to the crash from the Swiss rider [Taramarcaz]. I’m satisfied with my performance on such a course. Nys? If you abandon then you lose a lot of time,” Pauwels said.

Vantornout crossed the line in fourth place. “Too bad I made a mistake in the end because I wanted to finish on the podium. It was a tough and spectacular race with deep tracks which made it tricky while the crowds were often standing halfway up the course,” Vantornout said.Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) came in as fifth ahead of Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink - and Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept) who confirmed his good performance from Essen last week.


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Full Results
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:57:36
2Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:00:16
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:56
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:01
5Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:32
6Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:47
7Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:01:58
8Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:00
9Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:02:04
10Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:21
11Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:02:36
12Romain Lejeune (Fra)0:02:39
13Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:02:52
14Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:02:58
15Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:03:02
17Jonathan Page (USA)0:03:31
18Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - FideaRow 17 - Cell 2
19Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille MétropoleRow 18 - Cell 2
20Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:03:40
21Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:03:57
22Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:04:15
23Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:04:21
25Kevin Cant (Bel)0:04:39
26Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:05:24
27Mitchell Huenders (Ned)0:05:40
28Patrick Gaudy (Bel)0:05:46
29Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept0:06:20
30Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:06:28
31Dave De Cleyn (Bel)0:06:50
32Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling0:07:59
33Justin Lindine (USA) Redline-1lap
34Yoann Corbihan (Fra)Row 33 - Cell 2
35Jeremy Durrin (USA) JAM Fund / NCC-2laps
36Lewis Rattray (Aus)-3laps
DNFSven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-EuphonyRow 36 - Cell 2
DNFArnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - FideaRow 37 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
DNFMariusz Gil (Pol) BabocoRow 39 - Cell 2
DNFMarcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - PowerplusRow 40 - Cell 2
DNFBen Berden (Bel) Raleigh-ClementRow 41 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Pion (Fra) Equipe Cycliste Armée de Terre CSARow 42 - Cell 2
DNFKristof Cop (Bel)Row 43 - Cell 2
DNFStef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-RevorRow 44 - Cell 2
DNFMicky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDLRow 45 - Cell 2
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Sprint 1
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
3Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
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Fastest Lap
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus
2Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
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Classification after five rounds
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus4:49:31
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:05:18
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:06:08
4Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:06:21
5Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:07:27
6Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:08:34
7Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:08:55
8Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:11:21
9Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:13:19
10Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:14:07
11Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep0:15:58
12Aurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube0:16:49
13Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:17:21
14Jonathan Page (USA)0:17:25
15Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:18:28
16Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:18:41
17Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:19:04
18Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:19:18
19Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:19:37
20Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:20:06
21Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:20:21
22Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:20:51
23Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:20:56
24Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:21:25
25Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:21:40
26Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:22:11
27Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:22:23
28Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling0:22:30
29Mitchell Huenders (Ned)0:22:36
30Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco0:22:46
31Kevin Cant (Bel)0:22:50
32Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:23:30
33Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:23:39
34Romain Lejeune (Fra)0:23:41
35Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:23:59
36Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:24:08
37Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:24:19
38Stef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:24:44
39Dave De Cleyn (Bel)0:25:21
40Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:25:23
41Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:25:31
42Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:25:38
43Patrick Gaudy (Bel)0:26:02
44Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & ConceptRow 43 - Cell 2
45Yoann Corbihan (Fra)Row 44 - Cell 2
46Justin Lindine (USA) RedlineRow 45 - Cell 2
47Jeremy Durrin (USA) JAM Fund / NCCRow 46 - Cell 2
48Lewis Rattray (Aus)Row 47 - Cell 2
49Ben Berden (Bel) Raleigh-ClementRow 48 - Cell 2
50Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDLRow 49 - Cell 2
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Sprint classification after five rounds
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony9pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus7Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor5Row 2 - Cell 3
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor3Row 3 - Cell 3
5Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team2Row 4 - Cell 3
6Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea2Row 5 - Cell 3
7Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quickstep2Row 6 - Cell 3

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