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Nys overcomes last lap mistakes to win eponymous race

Sven Nys won a hard fought sixth round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy on New Year's Day at his home race in Baal, Belgium.

The Belgian champion held off Zdenek Stybar after a great last lap battle on home soil, winning his race a ninth time.

World champion Niels Albert struggled on the demanding muddy course but limited damages by finishing third. Nevertheless Albert lost the leader's position in the series, and now trails Nys by three points. Stybar follows at ten points behind Nys with two rounds left to race in February.

The start of the race was marred by a crash in front of the peloton after the first corner. It ruined the chances of Radomir Simunek, Martin Zlamalik and Kevin Pauwels, but all the other big guns escaped the crash.

Stybar created the selection during the second lap, leaving world champion Albert behind and leading the race together with home town favourite Nys. The duo cooperated well and distanced Albert.

During the penultimate lap Nys dropped Stybar but a stumble on the stairs allowed the Czech to return. Nys left Stybar behind again early on during the last lap while plowing through the mud. The Czech champion didn't give up and halfway through the lap, at the second ascent of the local climb and the following dangerously twisting drop, Stybar bridged back up to a struggling Nys.

Once back together it was Stybar's time to make a mistake, offering the Belgian champion a couple of seconds which was enough for the victory.

"I've won here more easily in the past. Everbody's at the end of its cycle. We had two days to recover after Loenhout but that wasn't enough. I feel like I've ridden a stage race, everything hurts," Nys said to Sporza.

Despite designing the course himself and being one of the strongest riders, Nys struggled at the end and made a lot of mistakes. "The course is adding value to 'cross but for the riders it's a nightmare. I'm happy that I could offer thousands of my fellow citizens a great day," Nys said.

Runner-up Stybar had mixed feelings about the race in Baal. "I had great legs today but in the last lap I was at my limit. It's not easy to battle against Nys on such a swampy course.

"I made a mistake during the last lap and he was gone. At the climb I thought that I had him but then I was blinded by the sun and made another mistake, again offering him ten meters," Stybar said.

While Stybar was able to push Nys to the limit, world champion Albert didn't stand a chance. "I started with the intension to win but from the second lap on I realized that it wasn't possible; it became a third place. The three points gap with Nys is nothing. Nothing is lost but now it's all about the championships," Albert said, referring to the fact that the next round of the GvA Trophy is held in February.

Full results
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago1:42:44
2Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:00:06
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:46
4Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank0:00:57
5Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux0:01:17
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank0:01:33
7Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Revor-Baboco Continental Team0:02:16
8Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Team BKCP-Power Plus0:02:22
9Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob0:02:45
10Christian Heule (Swi) RendementhypoCycling Team0:02:55
11Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof0:03:13
12Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:03:34
13Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:28
14Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team
15Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie
16Ben Berden (Bel)0:05:45
17Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago0:05:54
18Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne0:06:01
19Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor-Baboco Continental Team0:06:23
20Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW0:06:38
21Marco Bianco (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team0:06:48
22Bram Schmitz (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Advocaten - Elshof0:06:59
23Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel0:07:12
24Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW0:07:17
25Magnus Darvell (Swe)0:08:05
26Ivar Hartogs (Ned)
27Lukáš Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb - Projob Cycling Team-2 laps
28Gianni Denolf (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus-3 laps
29Brian Matter (USA)-4 laps
30David Boucher (Fra)
31Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn)-5 laps
32Bart Verschueren (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team
33Naranbat Ariunbold (Mgl)
34Boldbaatar (Mgl)-6 laps
35Gareth Whitall (GBr)

Intermediate Sprint
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team3pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago2
3Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank1

GvA Trophy standings after six rounds
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago143pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus140
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team133
4Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank88
5Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank87
6Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team85
7Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob73
8Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus72
9Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team55
10Radomír Šimunek Ml (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus51
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago41
12Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie32
13Christian Heule (Swi) RendementhypoCycling Team
14Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux31pts
15Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW30
16Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof27
17Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob26
18Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne23
19Ben Berden (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team20
20Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team
21Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Team BKCP-Power Plus15
22Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team14
23Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team
24Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike11pts
25Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team10
26Marco Bianco (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team7
27Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV
28Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/GSI4pts
29Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
30Steve Chainel (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
31Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team1
32Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW
33Bram Schmitz (Ned) Van Vliet - EBH Advocaten - Elshof

Intermediate Sprint classification
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team13pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago9
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus8
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team3
5Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank


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