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.
|1||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||1:00:30|
|2||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team||0:00:07|
|3||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:11|
|4||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||0:00:31|
|5||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||0:00:42|
|6||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:00:45|
|7||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||0:00:47|
|8||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:02|
|9||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||0:01:16|
|10||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:01:21|
|11||Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:01:23|
|12||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||0:01:38|
|13||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team||0:01:56|
|14||Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:59|
|15||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||0:02:12|
|16||Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||0:02:20|
|17||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||0:02:59|
|18||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:03:08|
|19||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team||0:03:13|
|20||Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||0:03:15|
|21||Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||0:03:22|
|22||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||0:03:30|
|23||Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:04:03|
|24||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team||0:04:32|
|25||Stijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:04:51|
|26||Davy Commeyne (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty Cycling Team||0:05:30|
|27||Kevin Cant (Bel) Primator Cyclingteam|
|28||Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||0:05:50|
|29||Niels Koyen (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team||0:06:15|
|30||Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction||0:06:30|
|31||Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio||0:06:39|
|32||Edwin De Wit (Bel)||-1lap|
|33||Jon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio||-2laps|
|DNF||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team|
|DNF||Micki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team|
|DNF||Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team|
|DNF||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Colba-Superano Ham|
|DNF||Kevin Eeckhout (Bel)|
|1||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||15||pts|
|2||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team||14|
|3||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||13|
|4||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team||12|
|5||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||11|
|6||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team||10|
|7||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team||9|
|8||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||8|
|9||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team||7|
|10||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team||6|
|11||Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||5|
|12||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus||4|
|13||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team||3|
|14||Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team||2|
|15||Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team||1|
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Based in the southeastern United States, Peter produces race coverage for all disciplines, edits news and writes features. The New Jersey native has 30 years of road racing and cyclo-cross experience, starting in the early 1980s as a Junior in the days of toe clips and leather hairnets. Over the years he's had the good fortune to race throughout the United States and has competed in national championships for both road and 'cross in the Junior and Masters categories. The passion for cycling started young, as before he switched to the road Peter's mission in life was catching big air on his BMX bike.
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