Denuwelaere slides to muddy victory

The cyclo-cross mudfest in Essen, Belgium was a pure thriller with a sensational finale. Riders tackled the toughest of courses while rain continuously made the course harder. Underdog Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept) timed his sprint to perfection but when he got off of the wheel of former cyclo-cross world champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), the Czech forced him into the barriers. Denuwelaere crashed, but while sliding he threw himself and his bike towards the line. It was barely enough to finish just ahead of Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) and world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) since Stybar was later disqualified.

The win in the fourth round of the Bpost Bank Trofee series is a career highlight for 24-year-old Denuwelaere. It's no secret that the former motocross rider deals well with muddy courses, but in Essen he gave away a demonstration. Halfway the race he joined the leaders and from there he comfortably put them in trouble. That was until he was put into the barriers. The tall Belgian made clear that he would be very disappointed if he wouldn't be declared the winner.

A few minutes later he was declared winner by jury president Wilfred Haan. "Stybar is relegated to fourth place. The photo finish shows that Denuwelaere was the first to cross the line. It wasn't a hard decision," Haan told Sporza.

Denuwelaere was delighted with the outcome. "Despite knowing I would be in pain, the only thing I could think about was throwing my bike over the line, especially because for once I was battling for the win. What happened? Stybar went to the left, then more. It was too late to brake. It was an illegal move. I'm good in the mud but not every weekend needs to be this tough," Denuwelaere said.

Last year, Denuwelaere captured one of his few wins in a much-discussed sprint against then cyclo-cross world champion Stybar at the small event in Bredene. This time around Stybar didn't allow Denuwelaere to overtake him. The Czech was enjoying mixed emotions after his cyclo-cross debute in his Belgian hometown of Essen. "It's very sad. It was a beautiful 'cross. Jan was very strong. What happened is very sad. I didn’t want to make him crash. I'm glad he's not injured. I moved to the left. I saw him coming but he came much faster than I expected. I tried to balance with the shoulders. I didn't train for the 'cross so I'm very happy that I was able to battle for the win. It's weird that without specific training, I was able to mix in," Stybar told Sporza.

Halfway through the race, the duo started leading the contest in Essen. They took over the command from usual suspects, Albert and Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony). Nys won the intermediate sprint after one and a half laps, taking five bonus seconds on series leader Albert. Nys later lost touch with the leaders after riding into a pole and dropping his chain on a 180-degree corner.

Albert faded a little halfway through the race but recovered towards the end. Eventually he finished fourth in the sprint, shaking his head while crossing the line but eventually being put in third place. "Sven and I killed each other in the first laps for the intermediate sprint. I needed a lot of time to recover from that. I should've waited a bit longer and put everything on the finish," Albert said. Despite not having enough left in his tank for the finish, Albert did a great job with regard to the Bpost Bank Trofee series, putting Nys back from 20 seconds to 47 seconds in the general classification.

Third-placed Rob Peeters was pleased about his race although he felt that more was possible. "It was the most exciting race of the season. I tried to start off easy. It took awhile before I joined the leaders. Two laps from the finish, I went flat out. In the forest, I tumbled and that's where I lost it," Peeters told Sporza.

The few spectators who dared to challenge the tough weather circumstances returned home after having witnessed what was arguably the best race of the season. It is expected that the race in Essen will be kept out of the Bpost Bank Trofee series next year. However, today's spectacular contest may change organizer's minds.

The next round in the Bpost Bank Trofee will be held next week at the Spades-cross in Loenhout.

Full Results

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Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept1:00:05
2Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - FideaRow 1 - Cell 2
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:01
4Zdenek Stybar (Cze)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:00:32
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:55
7Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink0:01:04
8Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-RevorRow 7 - Cell 2
9Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:42
10Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:46
11Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:02:09
12Jonathan Page (USA)0:02:12
13Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:02:26
14Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:39
15Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:57
16Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet-Fidea0:03:16
17Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube0:03:36
18Mitchell Huenders (Ned)0:03:43
19Stef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:03:45
20Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Cycling Team0:03:53
21Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:03:56
22Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:04:04
23Kevin Cant (Bel)0:04:15
24Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling0:04:20
25Dave De Cleyn (Bel)0:05:33
26Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea0:05:44
27Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:06:34
28Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel)0:07:27
29Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept0:07:33
30Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:07:49
31Jeremy Durrin (USA) JAM Fund / NCCRow 30 - Cell 2
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Elite women
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm - BKCP Veldtritacademie0:42:00
2Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Team0:00:12
3Nikki Harris (GBr) Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:22
4Gabriella Day (GBr) Rapha-Focus0:00:36
5Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Melbotech Prorace CT0:01:10
6Katerina Nash (Cze)0:01:15
7Githa Michiels (Bel)0:02:52
8Reza Hormes (Ned)0:03:25
9Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Fra) Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team0:03:33
10Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Wielerteam Decock Sportivo Moorsele0:03:48
11Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:04:07
12Kim Van de Steene (Bel) Kon. VC T Meetjesland-Knesselare0:04:28
13Liesbet De Vocht (Bel)0:04:55
14Nancy Bober (Bel) Style & Concept0:05:12
15Bianca Van Den Hoek (Ned)0:05:17
16Monique van de Ree (Ned) Skil-Argos0:06:04
17Lotte Eikelenboom (Ned)0:06:26
18Nicole Thiemann (USA) Team CF0:06:42
19Thalita De Jong (Ned)0:07:03
20Esmee Oosterman (Ned)0:07:25
21Margriet Kloppenburg (Den) BMC Concept Store0:08:00
22Stephanie De Croock (Bel)0:08:07
23Nathalie Nijns (Bel)0:08:54
24Christine Vardaros (USA) Baboco0:09:04
25Katrien Thijs (Bel) K. Edegem Bicycle Club0:09:14
26Kristien Nelen (Bel) Houffalize Granville Team0:09:20
27Suzie Godart (Lux) CCI Differdange0:09:38
28Femke Van Den Driessche0:09:47
29Ilona Meter (Ned)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Shana Maes (Bel) Kriekel Cycling Team TessenderloRow 29 - Cell 2
31Caren Commissaris (Bel)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Marijke De Pauw (Bel) WK Noord West BrabantRow 31 - Cell 2
33Anja Geldhof (Bel) WIMI-Games/St Martinus CTRow 32 - Cell 2
34Tine Verdeyen (Bel) Vlaams-Brabanstse AfdelingRow 33 - Cell 2
35Lene Vrijsen (Bel)Row 34 - Cell 2
36Axelle Dubau Prevot (Fra)Row 35 - Cell 2
37Sandie Verriest (Bel)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Maggie Van Beeumen (Bel) VZW Ijsklokje CyclingRow 37 - Cell 2
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U23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:48:53
2Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:08
3Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:12
4Laurens Sweeck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:00:24
5Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:40
6Tijmen Eising (Ned) Sunweb-Revor0:00:51
7Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:11
8Jens Adams (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:26
9Diether Sweeck (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:01:41
10Toon Aerts (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:01:48
11David Van Der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:04
12Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:02:31
13Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:32
14Quentin Jauregui (Fra)0:03:27
15Kenneth Hansen (Den) Christina Watches-Onfone0:03:50
16Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel)0:04:01
17Yorben Van Tichelt (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:04:25
18Niels Koyen (Bel)0:04:36
19Tim Ariesen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:48
20Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel)0:05:02
21Dario Stauble (Swi)0:05:25
22Matthias Bossuyt (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:05:48
23Pjotr van Beek (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:06:22
24Niels Van den Driessche (Bel)0:06:49
25Luke Gray (GBr) Trek Cyclocross Collective0:06:55
26Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team NSP-Ghost0:07:13
27Erik Kramer (Ned)Row 26 - Cell 2
28Arno Brocatus (Bel)Row 27 - Cell 2
29Sieen Veestraeten (Bel)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Mike De Bie (Bel)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Mike Castel (Ned)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Niels Verdijck (Bel)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Max Wemmers (Bel)Row 32 - Cell 2
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Junior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned)0:40:40
2Martijn Budding (Ned)0:00:57
3Yannick Peeters (Bel)0:01:22
4Jonas Degroote (Bel)0:01:55
5Stan Wijkel (Ned)0:02:02
6Kobe Goossens (Bel)0:02:10
7Stijn Caluwe (Bel)0:02:20
8Ben Boets (Bel)0:02:30
9Kevin Dupont (Bel)0:02:46
10Richard Jansen (Ned)0:03:02
11Din Van den Driessche (Bel)0:03:10
12Thijs Aerts (Bel)0:03:26
13Ward Van Laer (Bel)0:03:36
14Alexander Ameel (Bel)0:03:48
15Valentin Ortillon (Fra)0:04:35
16Björn van der Heijden (Ned)0:05:00
17Kyle De Proost (Bel)0:05:06
18Sieben Wouters (Ned)0:05:12
19Pieter Van Roosbroeck (Bel)0:05:26
20Vincent Peeters (Bel)0:05:28
21Lennert Van Hasselt (Bel)0:05:36
22Sybren Jaocbs (Bel)0:05:41
23Yves Coolen (Bel)0:05:50
24Seppe Gorrens (Bel)Row 23 - Cell 2
25Jorn Verbraken (Bel)0:05:59
26Jens Dierckx (Bel)Row 25 - Cell 2
27Braam Lehvi (Ned)0:06:07
28Jordi Andries (Bel)0:06:40
29Rob van Broekhoven (Ned)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Joran Mertens (Bel)0:06:53
31Lucas Wollenhaupt (Ger)0:07:00
-1lapLuc Turchi (Lux)Row 31 - Cell 2
-1lapIan McPherson (USA)Row 32 - Cell 2
-1lapJens Dierckx (Bel)Row 33 - Cell 2
-1lapJelle Vanden Dries (Bel)Row 34 - Cell 2
-1lapTim Janssen (Ned)Row 35 - Cell 2
-1lapAlec Spencer Downing (USA)Row 36 - Cell 2
-1lapSenne De Meyer (Bel)Row 37 - Cell 2
-1lapDennis CelenRow 38 - Cell 2
-1lapJordi Van Dingenen (Bel)Row 39 - Cell 2
-1lapJordi De Greef (Bel)Row 40 - Cell 2
-2lapsMagnus Tholstrup Skjoth (Den)Row 41 - Cell 2
-2lapsLaurens Boden (Bel)Row 42 - Cell 2
-2lapsGianni Vermeiren (Bel)Row 43 - Cell 2
-2lapsJoe Wirtz (Lux)Row 44 - Cell 2
-2lapsWesley van Steen (Ned)Row 45 - Cell 2
-3lapsBrent Peeters (Bel)Row 46 - Cell 2
-3lapsPieter Cools (Bel)Row 47 - Cell 2


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