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Albert tops Nys at Azencross

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A mud-covered Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb - Revor) post race.

A mud-covered Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb - Revor) post race.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb - Revor) rode to a 7th place finish in Loenhout.

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb - Revor) rode to a 7th place finish in Loenhout.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) leads German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP - Powerplus)

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) leads German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP - Powerplus)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) leads on the opening lap.

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) leads on the opening lap.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) takes the win.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) takes the win.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) took the spoils at Azencross.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) took the spoils at Azencross.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) crosses the line in second place.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) crosses the line in second place.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) was disappointed to finish second.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) was disappointed to finish second.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) finished in 6th place.

Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) finished in 6th place.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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American Brian Matter (Gear Grinder) is sporting a beard on his European campaign.

American Brian Matter (Gear Grinder) is sporting a beard on his European campaign.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Kevin Pauwels (Telenet - Fidea) finished fourth and remains atop the GVA Trofee standings.

Kevin Pauwels (Telenet - Fidea) finished fourth and remains atop the GVA Trofee standings.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Dutch champion Lars Boom (Rabobank) powers through the mud.

Dutch champion Lars Boom (Rabobank) powers through the mud.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb - Revor) en route to a 12th place finish.

Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb - Revor) en route to a 12th place finish.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Belgian champion Sven Nys puts his BMX skills to good use on the whoop-de-do section.

Belgian champion Sven Nys puts his BMX skills to good use on the whoop-de-do section.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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A mud-coated Bart Wellens (Telenet - Fidea) finished 6th in Loenhout.

A mud-coated Bart Wellens (Telenet - Fidea) finished 6th in Loenhout.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Rikke Dijkxhoorn (Van Vliet EBH Elshof)

Rikke Dijkxhoorn (Van Vliet EBH Elshof)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Kevin Pauwels (Telenet - Fidea) tackles a set of muddy stairs.

Kevin Pauwels (Telenet - Fidea) tackles a set of muddy stairs.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sean Babcock (Kona)

Sean Babcock (Kona)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Dutch champion Lars Boom (Rabobank) en route to an 11th place finish.

Dutch champion Lars Boom (Rabobank) en route to an 11th place finish.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) leads Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet)

Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) leads Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lars Boom (Rabobank) runs the stairs.

Lars Boom (Rabobank) runs the stairs.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) en route to victory in Loenhout.

Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) en route to victory in Loenhout.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet)

Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Belgium's Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)

Belgium's Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A muddy parcours would keep team mechanics busy throughout the day.

A muddy parcours would keep team mechanics busy throughout the day.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Lars Boom (Rabobank) after the finish.

Lars Boom (Rabobank) after the finish.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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World champion Zdenek Štybar (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) leads Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet).

World champion Zdenek Štybar (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) leads Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet).
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) opens a gap.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) opens a gap.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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World champion Zdenek Štybar (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) is battling back into form.

World champion Zdenek Štybar (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) is battling back into form.
(Image credit: ispaphoto.com)

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) has won the fifth round of the GVA Trophy in Loenhout, Belgium for the second time in his career. Top honours in Loenhout came down to a two-man battle between Albert and Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet), who had separated themselves from a five-man lead group during the fifth of eight laps.

Just as in the Superprestige Diegem race two days ago, it appeared that victory would be decided in a sprint finish between Albert and Nys, but the Belgian champion's recent run of bad luck continued as Nys fell in the pit area on the last lap while making a bike exchange. Nys quickly got back on his feet and mounted his fresh bike but could not close the gap on Albert, who had bypassed the pit and soloed to victory.

"Sven and I fought out a close game today. We both made mistakes but in the end I expected a sprint would be the decider," said Albert. "Suddenly Sven crashed and I didn't hesitate to go from there. Too bad because I would have loved to sprint against Sven, then I would know before the Belgian championships who the fastest was."

For Sven Nys it was yet another blow that kept him from winning a race. "The run of bad luck doesn't seem to come to an end. It's becoming a bit too much," Nys said. The Belgian champion has already had potential victories erased in three previous races due to a faulty pit exchange, a pedal which fell off and a dropped chain.

Nevertheless, Nys did a good job in the overall standings in which he made up six points on leader Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea). On New Year's day Nys can become the new overall leader in his home town of Baal.

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) rounded out the podium in third place, finishing 47 seconds down on Albert in his second race after his return to competition. In the final lap Stybar left his teammate Pauwels and German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) behind.

Belgians Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea), Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) rolled across the line more than a minute behind winner Albert.

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) battled his way into this group and grabbed ninth place just ahead of Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Off Road). For Page it was his best result of the season in a European C1-ranked race. "Exactly. I'm happy I raced well and happy with where I'm at. Now it's a matter of confirming this result," Page said.

Niels Albert also grabbed the €1000 bonus for clocking the fastest lap time of the race. Albert won this mini-competition just ahead of Kevin Pauwels and Philipp Walsleben.

The next round of the GVA Trophy will be held in Baal, Belgium on New Year's day.

Full Results
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:56:22
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:11
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:47
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:52
5Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:59
6Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:12
7Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:21
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:27
9Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:01:28
10Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:01:29
11Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank0:01:45
12Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:23
13Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS0:02:25
14Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 930:02:28
15Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:33
16Marco Bianco (Ita)0:02:41
17Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:47
18Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus
19Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing0:02:48
20Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team0:03:09
21Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:03:13
22Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:03:24
23Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:03:33
24Egoitz Murgoitio (Spa)0:03:39
25Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:03:43
26Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans0:03:44
27Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team0:03:50
28Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:04:03
29Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)0:04:27
30Wilant van Gils (Ned) CX Nederland0:04:29
31Kevin Cant (Bel) Van Goethem Prorace Cycling Team0:04:34
32Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles0:04:40
33Patrick Gaudy (Bel)0:05:33
34Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team
35Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:05:36
36Rene Birkenfeld (Ger) Harvesterhude Rv0:05:42
37Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:06:06
38Marek Cichosz (Pol) Legia-Felt0:06:10
39Mitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus
40Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn)0:06:22
41Rikke Dijkxhoorn (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof-1lap
42Stijn Huys (Bel)
43Isaac Suarez (Spa)
44Bart Verschueren (Bel) Champion System LBS Team
45Brian Matter (USA) Gear Grinder
46Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor-2laps
47Jody Crawforth (GBr) Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/Scott/GSI
48Tom De Kort (Bel) APB Cycling Team
49Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)
50Sebastien Le Naour (Fra)
51Florian Le Corré (Fra) Flers Cyclisme 61
52Mitchell Hoke (USA) Clif Bar Development Team
53Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace
54Craig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue-3laps
55Mark Lalonde (USA) Cal Giant-Specialized
56Ryan Iddings (USA) Redline
57Sean Babcock (USA) Kona
58Fernandez Suarez (Spa)
59Gianni Denolf (Bel) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team
60Jimmy Tielens (Bel) Team Saeco Heist O/D Berg-4laps
61Ryan Knapp (USA) BikeReg.com
62Hikaru Kosaka (Jpn)
63Davy Yeater (USA) River City Bicycles-Cannondale
64Shaun Adamson (Can) Cycle-Smart
65Gareth Whittall (GBr)-5laps
66David Andrew Quist (USA) Team Clif Bar Cycling

Intermediate sprint
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet3pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team2
3Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team1

Fastest lap
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:06:49
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:02
3Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:03

Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee standings after 5 rounds
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team106pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet102
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team89
4Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team81
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus80
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor76
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team71
8Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team49
9Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team48
10Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus47
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team44
12Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor36
13Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus34
14Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus32
15Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team24
16Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team20
17Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team19
18Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS19
19Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus16
20Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team16
21Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team14
22Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team14
23Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike14
24Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ13
25Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank10
26Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team9
27Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles8
28Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor7
29Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 937
30Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team6
31Marco Bianco (Ita)6
32Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team3
33Romain Villa (Fra)2
34Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing2
35Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)1

Sprint standings
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet11pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team7
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team6
4Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team2
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus2
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor2

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