Albert wins in Ronse

About 10,000 cyclo-cross spectators gathered around the muddy Hotondberg in Ronse to attend the opening round of the Bpost Bank Trofee Veldrijden, the GP Mario De Clercq. World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) claimed a hard-fought win just ahead of last year's winner Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor). Thanks to a first place at the intermediate sprint, it is Pauwels who becomes the first leader of the Trofee despite finishing four seconds short of Albert at the finish line.

"It was very hard course. There's no single meter for recovery. Halfway the race I felt that I was the strongest but in the end I struggled," Albert told Sporza.

Albert and Pauwels dominated the hilly race on the muddy meadows of the Hotondberg.

The first half of the race was marked by a false start from Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor), who was later in the picture again but then had two crashes. "I'm not the most technical rider in the peloton. It was spectacular, but it didn't hurt me," Vantornout said. At the intermediate sprint, halfway the second lap, sole leader Pauwels took 15 bonus seconds while Albert grabbed five seconds for his third place. Later the world champion caught up with Pauwels, and together they headed off.

By then, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet), who got a poor start, steadily moved out of the top 20 and led the chase on the leading duo at about 20 seconds. The gap increased a little lap by lap until halfway the race when Nys and Bart Aernouts (AA-Drink) realized they were never going to get back to the front.

In the second half of the race, Albert had the upper hand. He slowly gained a few metres on Pauwels, built up a lead of 11 seconds but then ran out of gas in the final laps. Eventually Albert reached the finish line with a small bonus on Pauwels. With Pauwels not far behind, he had nothing nothing left in his tank to celebrate his win.

Initially, it wasn't clear who would be the first leader since Pauwels finished at four or five seconds following Albert. If the gap was four seconds, then Pauwels would be leader, if it was up to five, then Albert would lead. While being interviewed by Sporza, Albert was informed that the final verdict favoured Pauwels. "The crap starts already. [...] If they don't know it after the first race. ... It changed five times in a few minutes," Albert said.

The new overall classification system awards riders for time gaps rather than their actual placing in a race. Albert acknowledged that it changed the racing style.

Despite finishing as runner-up at the finish line, Kevin Pauwels will not be disappointed with his performance in Ronse. He rode the fastest lap of the race, offering him a nice 1000-euro bonus and his intermediate sprint win eventually put him into the overall lead in the competition.

"I knew I had to finish within five seconds. I gave it all to get into that time gap. He was better in the running sections, especially at the end," Pauwels told Sporza.

About a minute later, an unemotional Nys crossed the finish line in third place. Last week's winner of the Superprestige race in Ruddervoorde was unable to mix in for the win and according to the 36-year-old, that was due to a false start.

"I made one mistake today, and it cost me my good start position. I shouldn't have started. It was a false start. Klaas goes and then stops. It happened and then my race was over. I rode around a bit frustrated during the first lap. Then I kept riding at 20 seconds. Then I focused on third place. I overtook half a peloton but the two others were gone. Like I said before, I will not focus on the classification and aim for victories," Nys said.

The next round in the series will be held on the Koppenberg in Oudenaarde in three weeks.

Full Results

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Elite men
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:57:31
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:04
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:01:09
4Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:22
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:52
6Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:58
7Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:02:07
8Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:02:38
9Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:52
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:02:57
11Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:08
12Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:03:13
13Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:03:18
14Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:20
15Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:03:26
16Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco0:03:29
17Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:30
18Jonathan Page (USA)0:03:31
19Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:52
20Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:04:08
21Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube0:04:43
22Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:05:01
23Dave De Cleyn (Bel)0:05:06
24Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:05:08
25Bart Hofman (Bel) Afdeling Oost-Vlaanderen WBV-VZWRow 24 - Cell 2
26Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea0:05:10
27Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:05:13
28Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept0:05:19
29Kevin Eeckhout (Bel)0:05:43
30Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:06:53
-2lapsMicky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDLRow 30 - Cell 2
-2lapsRadomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - PowerplusRow 31 - Cell 2
-2lapsStijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
-3lapsStef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-RevorRow 33 - Cell 2
-3lapsMathieu Willemyns (Bel)Row 34 - Cell 2
-3lapsGianni Denolf (Bel) CyclingchampsRow 35 - Cell 2
-4lapsAlexander Revell (NZl) Revolution BicyclesRow 36 - Cell 2
DNFKevin Cant (Bel)Row 37 - Cell 2
DNFDieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - PowerplusRow 38 - Cell 2
DNFTom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - FideaRow 39 - Cell 2
DNFSven Beelen (Bel) Sunweb-RevorRow 40 - Cell 2
DNFJim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-RevorRow 41 - Cell 2
DNFEddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36CyclingRow 42 - Cell 2
DNFKyle F Kiser (USA)Row 43 - Cell 2
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Elite men intermediate sprint
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor15seconds
2Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team10Row 1 - Cell 3
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus5Row 2 - Cell 3
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U23 men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel)53:16:00
2Wout Van Aert (Bel)0:00:13
3Corné van Kessel (Ned)0:00:16
4Jens Adams (Bel)Row 3 - Cell 2
5Jens Vandekinderen (Bel)0:00:20
6Mike Teunissen (Ned)0:01:02
7Toon Aerts (Bel)0:01:13
8Vinnie Braet (Bel)0:01:25
9Tim Merlier (Bel)0:01:32
10Laurens Sweeck (Bel)0:01:42
11Karel Hnik (Cze)0:01:50
12Wietse Bosmans (Bel)0:02:50
13Emiel Dolfsma (Ned)0:03:03
14Ritchie Denolf (Bel)0:03:13
15Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned)0:03:18
16Joeri Hofman (Bel)0:03:23
17Daan Soete (Bel)0:03:27
18Yorben Van Tichelt (Bel)0:03:38
19David van der Poel (Ned)0:03:51
20Matthias Van de Velde (Bel)0:04:06
21Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel)0:05:04
22Jonathan Lastra (Spa)0:05:10
23Matthias Bossuyt (Bel)0:05:24
24Hendrik Sweeck (Bel)0:06:40
25Niels Koyen (Bel)0:06:47
-1lapLorenzo Pepermans (Bel)Row 25 - Cell 2
-1lapGlenn Maes (Bel)Row 26 - Cell 2
-1lapJens Couckuyt (Bel)Row 27 - Cell 2
-2lapsKevin Neirynck (Bel)Row 28 - Cell 2
-2lapsPieter Dewitte (Bel)Row 29 - Cell 2
-2lapsLaudelino Lammens (Bel)Row 30 - Cell 2
-2lapsStig Callay (Bel)Row 31 - Cell 2
-3lapsKenneth Van Dessel (Bel)Row 32 - Cell 2
-3lapsJellen Schiettecatte (Bel)Row 33 - Cell 2
-4lapsDries De Vos (Bel)Row 34 - Cell 2
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Junior men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mathieu van der Poel (Ned)0:41:52
2Quinten Hermans (Bel)0:00:59
3Martijn Budding (Ned)0:01:12
4Nicolas Cleppe (Bel)0:01:26
5Jonas Degroote (Bel)0:02:15
6Ben Boets (Bel)0:02:31
7Yannick Peeters (Bel)0:03:03
8Gianni Van Donink (Bel)0:03:07
9Stijn Caluwe (Bel)0:03:23
10Thomas Joseph (Bel)0:03:27
11Elias Van Hecke (Bel)0:03:41
12Alexander Ameel (Bel)0:03:42
13Stef Claeys (Bel)0:04:09
14Kobe Goossens (Bel)0:04:17
15Ward Van Laer (Bel)0:04:21
16Richard Jansen (Ned)0:04:34
17Thijs Aerts (Bel)0:04:46
18Bjorn van der Heijden (Ned)0:05:03
19Jens Teirlinck (Bel)0:05:08
20Seppe Gorrens (Bel)0:05:20
21Arne Poelvoorde (Bel)0:05:26
22Jelle Schuermans (Bel)0:05:33
23Gianni Quintelier (Bel)0:05:39
24Stan Wijkel (Ned)0:05:51
25Yves Coolen (Bel)0:06:06
26Din Van den Driessche (Bel)0:06:09
27Jelle Vanden Dries (Bel)0:06:33
28Thomas Van de Velde (Bel)0:06:40
29Mats Lammertink (Ned)0:06:52
30Brecht Vandenheede (Bel)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Sybren Jacobs (Bel)0:07:03
32Sieben Wouters (Bel)0:07:24
33Aaron Vandermeirsch (Bel)0:07:37
34Kyle De Proost (Bel)0:07:47
35Vincent Peeters (Bel)0:07:59
-1lapWout Alleman (Bel)Row 35 - Cell 2
-1lapTim Janssen (Ned)Row 36 - Cell 2
-1lapRob Vanden Haesevelde (Bel)Row 37 - Cell 2
-1lapFabio Jakobsen (Ned)Row 38 - Cell 2
-1lapJoran Mertens (Bel)Row 39 - Cell 2
-2lapsLander Jespers (Bel)Row 40 - Cell 2
-2lapsOlaf Remmerswaal (Ned)Row 41 - Cell 2
-2lapsMathias Moenaert (Bel)Row 42 - Cell 2
-2lapsJonas Verstraete (Bel)Row 43 - Cell 2
-2lapsLaurens De Jonghe (Bel)Row 44 - Cell 2
-2lapsGilles De Jaeger (Bel)Row 45 - Cell 2
-2lapsJarno Dedier (Bel)Row 46 - Cell 2
-3lapsThibault Copine (Bel)Row 47 - Cell 2
-3lapsTjendo De Baere (Bel)Row 48 - Cell 2
-3lapsBrent Peeters (Bel)Row 49 - Cell 2
-3lapsStef Teirlinck. (Bel)Row 50 - Cell 2
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Elite men Trofee after one round
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:57:10
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:01
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:01:25
4Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:43
5Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:02:09
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:13
7Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:02:28
8Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:02:59
9Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:13
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:03:18
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U23 men Trofee after one round
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel)25pts
2Wout Van Aert (Bel)22Row 1 - Cell 3
3Corné van Kessel (Ned)19Row 2 - Cell 3
4Jens Adams (Bel)17Row 3 - Cell 3
5Jens Vandekinderen (Bel)16Row 4 - Cell 3
6Mike Teunissen (Ned)15Row 5 - Cell 3
7Toon Aerts (Bel)14Row 6 - Cell 3
8Vinnie Braet (Bel)13Row 7 - Cell 3
9Tim Merlier (Bel)12Row 8 - Cell 3
10Laurens Sweeck (Bel)11Row 9 - Cell 3
11Karel Hnik (Cze)10Row 10 - Cell 3
12Wietse Bosmans (Bel)9Row 11 - Cell 3
13Emiel Dolfsma (Ned)8Row 12 - Cell 3
14Ritchie Denolf (Bel)7Row 13 - Cell 3
15Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned)6Row 14 - Cell 3
16Joeri Hofman (Bel)5Row 15 - Cell 3
17Daan Soete (Bel)4Row 16 - Cell 3
18Yorben Van Tichelt (Bel)3Row 17 - Cell 3
19David van der Poel (Ned)2Row 18 - Cell 3
20Matthias Van de Velde (Bel)1Row 19 - Cell 3

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