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Albert defeats champions in Lille

After losing his world title at the Louisville cyclo-cross world championships from last week Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) bounced back with an impressive solo ride at the penultimate round of the Bpost Bank Trofee in Lille, Belgium. Albert gapped the rest of the field on the fast course in the second of nine laps and won the Krawatencross in Lille for the third time.

Nearly a minute later Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) held off world champion Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony), teammate Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea). In the overall classification Albert extends his already comfortable lead over Pauwels and Vantornout.

“Once I had a gap I kept increasing my lead and when hitting the final lap I even thought about finishing by more than a minute on the first chasers. Then I would not have to race in Oostmalle to clinch the overall win; that would be unique. In the end it wasn’t possible. I had a super day but it came a week too late,” Albert told Sporza.

It’s not the first time Albert completed an extremely long solo. Once he has a gap the Belgian is consistently able to clock very fast lap times which makes it very hard to gain back ground on him. Albert made his early move in the second lap. The coup from Albert combined team tactics with strength. Together with Radomir Simunek (Kwadro-Stannah) and Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) he moved to the front of the large lead group. Simunek took his foot of the gas and allowed Albert to go the distance. By the time any of the big guns managed to get to the front of the group Albert was long gone. Pauwels tried to close the gap on his own but didn’t get closer than five seconds before starting to lose ground.

Halfway into the race the big four cyclo-cross stars were riding a sort of pursuit on the fast course in Lille. Albert led ahead of Pauwels, with Nys following at short distance. A bit further back Vantornout distanced a group which included Rob Peeters and Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea). In the background Dutch champion Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team) spectacularly went over the handlebars at the barriers. The young rider took Walsleben down with him and left the race little later.

In front, Albert proved to be the strongest as he kept extending his lead. Nys got back to Pauwels and the duo later got caught by Vantornout, Peeters and Wellens.

Long after the finish from Albert the quintet battled for second place. Vantornout once again displayed his excellent form by getting a gap on the rest before hitting the finishing straight. Vantornout cruised to second place and right behind him. Nys beat a disappointed Pauwels for third place. Peeters was even more disappointed man in fifth. Wellens had a good start, fought his way back into the race to mix in for second place but eventually concluded a good race with a sixth place. Walsleben was best of the rest in seventh place, finishing just ahead of Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus).

The final round of the Bpost Bank Trofee series is held in Oostmalle, Belgium on February 23, 2013.

Full Results
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:58:45
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games0:00:49
3Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
5Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:53
6Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:05
7Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:24
8Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:28
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:42
10Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:10
11Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
12Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-Euphony0:02:14
13Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:02:18
14Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:02:27
15Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept0:02:36
16Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea
17Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:02:40
18Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:56
19Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:03:22
20Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:26
21Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah0:03:31
22Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:03:37
23Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:03:39
24Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Crelan-KDL0:04:04
25Micky van Empel (Ned) Crelan-KDL0:04:16
26Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:18
27Patrick Gaudy (Bel)
28Jonathan Page (USA)0:04:19
29Dave De Cleyn (Bel)0:05:02
30Bart Hofman (Bel) Afdeling Oost-Vlaanderen WBV-VZW0:05:21
31Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea0:05:28
32Niels Wubben (Ned) Giant Off-Road Team0:05:33
33Mathieu Willemyns (Bel)0:05:39
34Stijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling Team
35Gianni Denolf (Bel) Baboco
36Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized
37Tom De Kort (Be)
38Kristof Cop (Bel)
39Edwin De Wit (Bel)
40Yoann Corbihan (Fra)
41Ian Taylor (GBr)
42Andy Peace (GBr)

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