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Vantornout wins opening Superprestige race in Ruddervoorde

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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) wins the opening round of the Superprestige

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) wins the opening round of the Superprestige
(Image credit: AFP)
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Elite men's podium at Superprestige Ruddervoorde (L-R): Sven Nys, Klaas Vantornout and Tom Meeusen

Elite men's podium at Superprestige Ruddervoorde (L-R): Sven Nys, Klaas Vantornout and Tom Meeusen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Who was happy that Klaas Vantornout won in Ruddervoorde? This guy...

Who was happy that Klaas Vantornout won in Ruddervoorde? This guy...
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout won the opening round of the Superprestige series in Ruddervoorde

Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout won the opening round of the Superprestige series in Ruddervoorde
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Winning in Ruddervoorde close to his hometown, Klaas Vantornout considered the victory his biggest after winning the Belgian title

Winning in Ruddervoorde close to his hometown, Klaas Vantornout considered the victory his biggest after winning the Belgian title
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World champion Sven Nys (Crelan KDL) rebounded from a subpar World Cup performance the day before to place second at Superprestige Ruddervoorde

World champion Sven Nys (Crelan KDL) rebounded from a subpar World Cup performance the day before to place second at Superprestige Ruddervoorde
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) powers through the sand in Ruddervoorde

Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) powers through the sand in Ruddervoorde
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) in the sand at Superprestige Ruddervoorde

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) in the sand at Superprestige Ruddervoorde
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World champion at the head of Superprestige Ruddervoorde, followed by Lars van der Haar, Klaas Vantornout and Tom Meeusen

World champion at the head of Superprestige Ruddervoorde, followed by Lars van der Haar, Klaas Vantornout and Tom Meeusen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) was pleased with his third place finish in Superprestige Ruddervoorde

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) was pleased with his third place finish in Superprestige Ruddervoorde
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Marcel Meisen, left, and Julien Taramarcaz in the midst of the Superprestige Ruddervoorde sand pit

Marcel Meisen, left, and Julien Taramarcaz in the midst of the Superprestige Ruddervoorde sand pit
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) put in a solid performance at Superprestige Ruddervoorde

Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) put in a solid performance at Superprestige Ruddervoorde
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) in the sand pit in Ruddervoorde

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) in the sand pit in Ruddervoorde
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Martin Bina (Kwadro-Stannah) en route to a top-20 finish in Superprestige Ruddervoorde

Martin Bina (Kwadro-Stannah) en route to a top-20 finish in Superprestige Ruddervoorde
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) was alone in the lead for a few laps at Ruddervoorde, but would end the day in 5th place

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) was alone in the lead for a few laps at Ruddervoorde, but would end the day in 5th place
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Lars van der Haar (Raboank Development Team) followed up his World Cup win in Tabor with a 4th place finish at Superprestige Ruddervoorde

Lars van der Haar (Raboank Development Team) followed up his World Cup win in Tabor with a 4th place finish at Superprestige Ruddervoorde
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) wasn't in the mix at the head of the race and ended up 10th at Superprestige Ruddervoorde

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) wasn't in the mix at the head of the race and ended up 10th at Superprestige Ruddervoorde
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) comes to grief in the sand at Ruddervoorde

German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) comes to grief in the sand at Ruddervoorde
(Image credit: Photopress.be)

Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) won the opening round of the Superprestige series in Ruddervoorde with a last lap attack. Three riders entered the eighth and final lap together at the head of the race - Vantornout, world champion Sven Nys (Crelan KDL) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) - and Nys and Meeusen had no answer when Vantornout jumped away mid-lap. After initially falling behind Meeusen on the final lap, Nys would catch and pass the Telenet-Fidea rider to claim second, while Meeusen had to settle for third.

The previous day's World Cup winner, Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team), finished fourth followed by Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) in fifth.

"This is fantastic," said Vantornout, whose hometown of Torhout is in close proximity to the race venue. "After my Belgian title this is definitely the best win of my career."

Vantornout set the tone from the get-go as he took the hole shot and proceeded to gap his rivals on the opening lap of the muddy, technical circuit replete with numerous punchy rises, a sector of whoops plus a sand pit. By the end of the opening lap Vantornout would by joined by Nys, Van der Haar and Meeusen at the head of the race with Albert chasing alone in fifth place.

Albert would bridge to the leading four at the end of the second lap and immediately went on the offensive - jumping away on his own. By the end of the third lap he led the quartet of chasers - Vantornout, Nys, Van der Haar, and Meeusen - by eight seconds.

Albert would extend his lead over the chase group by a handful of seconds on the fourth lap, but on lap five Vantornout dropped his chase companions and bridged across to Albert. Nys and Meeusen rode together in pursuit of the two leaders while Van der Haar was gapped and rode alone in fifth place. Nys would dispatch of Meeusen and by the end of the fifth lap he reached Albert and Vantornout at the head of the race.

Meeusen was not ready to throw in the towel yet, however, and he, too, bridged across to the leaders early on the sixth lap. Nys would make his move on this circuit with only Vantornout immediately able to respond. Albert and Meeusen tried to keep the two leaders close while Van der Haar moved to within a handful of seconds of the two chasers - but was unable to cross the tantalisingly close gap.

On the penultimate lap Meeusen dropped Albert and once again found himself at the head of the race with Nys and Vantornout. Meeusen's pursuit took a lot out of him, however, as he was gapped slightly every time Nys or Vantornout upped the pace. Nonetheless Meeusen dug deep and fought back each time and entered the final lap still in the company of Vantornout and Nys.

Meanwhile, Van der Haar caught Albert and the pair entered the last lap 14 seconds down on the lead trio.

The stage was set for a final lap showdown for supremacy in the opening Superprestige round with Vantornout proving too strong for Nys and Meeusen in the race finale. Van der Haar would drop Albert in the battle for fourth place on the day.

Full Results
1Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team1:00:30
2Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team0:00:07
3Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:11
4Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:31
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:00:42
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:45
7Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:47
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:02
9Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:01:16
10Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:01:21
11Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:01:23
12Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:38
13Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team0:01:56
14Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:59
15Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:02:12
16Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:02:20
17Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:02:59
18Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:03:08
19Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:13
20Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:03:15
21Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:03:22
22Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:03:30
23Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:03
24Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team0:04:32
25Stijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:51
26Davy Commeyne (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty Cycling Team0:05:30
27Kevin Cant (Bel) Primator Cyclingteam
28Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:05:50
29Niels Koyen (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team0:06:15
30Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction0:06:30
31Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio0:06:39
32Edwin De Wit (Bel)-1lap
33Jon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio-2laps
DNFBart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team
DNFMicki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team
DNFYu Takenouchi (Jpn) Colba-Superano Ham
DNFKevin Eeckhout (Bel)

Superprestige standings after round 1
1Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team15pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team14
3Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team13
4Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team12
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team11
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team10
7Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team9
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team8
9Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team7
10Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team6
11Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team5
12Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus4
13Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team3
14Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team2
15Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team1

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