Nys dominant on the Koppenberg

Almost as if he had never been out of the picture Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) trounced his rivals in the mudfest up and around the Koppenberg during the second round of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy. Due to the huge amounts of deep mud, the course was extremely tough. The 34-year-old Belgian champion didn't mind and dropped all his rivals during the first lap. He went on to destroy the opposition, exhibiting great skills and power while finding a way up and over the Koppenberg.

For Nys it was his eighth victory on the famous Flemish helling. Runner-up Niels Albert (BCKP-Powerplus) finished more than a minute behind the cyclo-cross legend, who hadn't won an important race this season. World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) finished fourth and remains leader in the GvA-Trophy.

“I'm not worn out yet,” Nys said, when asked about his performance and status after the demonstration he gave on Monday afternoon. “Many people were talking about my age and that it would no longer be possible for me to battle up against the new generation. I'll be living on a cloud for a couple of weeks now because I rate this one very high. It's almost as important as the world championships to me."

Two youth races and a women's race turned the peaceful meadows on the climb near Melden into a mud-clad war zone. American  cyclo-cross star Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) fancied his chances and he led the peloton through the first soaked meadow and then on to the Koppenberg. The unknown Italian rider Marco Bianco attacked on the cobbles but by the time the riders cornered right into the meadow on top of the Koppenberg, Page was back in the lead ahead of Nys, Stybar and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor).

Niels Albert missed his start and rode back in twentieth place and Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) was even riding outside the top-30. Nys accelerated for the first time near the top of the climb and he got away with Stybar and Vantornout, while Page went into the barriers on one of the first downhill corners and disappeared from the front. A little later, Vantornout dropped back into a group with Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team), Gerben de Knegt (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team) and a well-recovering Albert.

When riding through the last field before cornering into the home straight Nys dropped Stybar. In hindsight, that was the moment the race ended. Nys never looked back and rode consistently faster than his rivals. “After the first lap I realized that things were working out great. Halfway people were shouting to me that it was in the bag but of course I had to remain focused,” Nys said.

Going into the last lap the Belgian champion had a comfortable gap of more than a minute over Albert but then Nys punctured. “For a moment I panicked. I had to continue on that tyre for half a lap and I gave all I had left in my tank; I don't want to repeat that any more,” Nys said.

Second-placed Albert heard about Nys' problem but didn't feel that it affected Nys at all. “On the road it doesn't help you but on the climb it surely didn't bother him. We all ride with really low tyre pressures on this course; we all feel every cobble of the Koppenberg,” Albert told Cyclingnews. In the end Nys didn't lose a single second and clinched his eighth win in the Koppenbergcross, and his seventh in a row.

Pauwels claimed the last podium spot a minute and a half behind Nys and the quiet Belgian was more than happy with that. “Last year I would have finished well off the podium in those conditions. It means I've taken a big step forward. This was a good weekend for me,” Pauwels said.

Halfway through the race, Stybar crashed and for a moment he was riding in seventh place. “That's when I thought that my classification was in danger. At that moment I believed that I could get a much better result. During the second lap I made too many mistakes and I lost focus. Eventually I captured fourth place and I'm happy with that,” Stybar said.

The Czech leads the GvA-Trophy with 45 points, five points clear of the Belgians Pauwels and Vantornout. Stybar defends his position at the head of the classification on November 20 during the third round of the GvA-Trophy in Hasselt, Belgium.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Full Results
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet1:00:00
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:07
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:28
4Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:08
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:24
6Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:02:46
7Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:03:40
8Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:04:02
9Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus0:04:10
10Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:04:26
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:04:46
12Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:04:56
13Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team0:05:08
14Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team0:05:17
15Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:05:35
16Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS0:06:00
17Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:06:15
18Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:06:53
19Romain Villa (Fra)0:07:12
20Marco Bianco (Ita)0:07:19
21Ian Field (GBr) Hargrove Cycles0:07:26
22Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:07:44
23Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:07:47
24Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans0:08:03
25Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:08:52
26Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:09:04
27Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)-2laps
28Patrick Gaudy (Bel)Row 27 - Cell 2
29Marek Cichosz (Pol)Row 28 - Cell 2
30Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - RevorRow 31 - Cell 2
33Mitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-PowerplusRow 32 - Cell 2
34Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-PowerplusRow 33 - Cell 2
35Wilant van Gils (Ned) CX NederlandRow 34 - Cell 2
36Stijn Huys (Bel)Row 35 - Cell 2
37Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace-3laps
38Kevin Cant (Bel)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Alberto Candelas Caballero (Spa)Row 39 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet3pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor1Row 2 - Cell 3
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Fastest lap
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:08:21
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:05
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:07
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee classification after 2 rounds
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team45pts
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor40Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team40Row 2 - Cell 3
4Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team30Row 3 - Cell 3
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team30Row 4 - Cell 3
6Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet28Row 5 - Cell 3
7Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus27Row 6 - Cell 3
8Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team27Row 7 - Cell 3
9Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus24Row 8 - Cell 3
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team20Row 9 - Cell 3
11Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team15Row 10 - Cell 3
12Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus14Row 11 - Cell 3
13Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team14Row 12 - Cell 3
14Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ13Row 13 - Cell 3
15Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor12Row 14 - Cell 3
16Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus11Row 15 - Cell 3
17Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team11Row 16 - Cell 3
18Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team11Row 17 - Cell 3
19Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team9Row 18 - Cell 3
20Ian Field (GBr) Hargrove Cycles8Row 19 - Cell 3
21Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS5Row 20 - Cell 3
22Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team4Row 21 - Cell 3
23Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor3Row 22 - Cell 3
24Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team3Row 23 - Cell 3
25Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team2Row 24 - Cell 3
26Romain Villa (Fra)2Row 25 - Cell 3
27Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)1Row 26 - Cell 3
28Marco Bianco (Ita)1Row 27 - Cell 3
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint classification
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team2Row 3 - Cell 3
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus2Row 4 - Cell 3

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1