Nys king of the Koppenbergcross

With a powerful last lap ascent on the slippery meadows of the Koppenberg, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) got rid of Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and steamed on towards yet another win, his ninth, at the Koppenbergcross. The mythical 'cross race comprises the second round in the bpost Bank Trofee series and this year it was spiced with a stormy finale. World champion Albert ultimately crossed the finish line 14 seconds behind Nys, while Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) emerged from a chase group in the finale to claim third, 1:04 behind the Belgian champion.

Before the race Nys stated that the Koppenbergcross was the most beautiful 'cross race of the season, his world championships race. He dreamed of shaking off his rivals with a blistering last lap acceleration. "That I was able to do it like I said makes this a very special win. I've won my Tour of Flanders this year. I've said these were my world championships," Nys said. The 36-year-old Belgian champion referred to his run of bad fortune in previous races in the post-race press chat. "I put all my frustrations in one acceleration."

Former bpost Bank Trofee series leader Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) had an off-day on Thursday afternoon, finishing eleventh and losing more than two minutes on Albert. The BKCP-Powerplus rider now leads the series which for this season is determined by time rather than points.

"I did a great job in the general classification. The series are now down to only Sven and myself, and that after only two rounds. The only race where I can still lose it is in Baal on New Year's Day," Albert said when checking out the new general classification with Cyclingnews. Albert leads Nys by 54 seconds and Pauwels by 2:17.

Belgian champion vs. world champion

On the third of eight laps, Nys and Albert stamped their authority on the steepest stretches of the Koppenberg climb. With one acceleration they threw back all their adversaries, including Pauwels who seemed to be standing still and lost nearly 15 seconds in approximately 150 metres. Before that, Nys already showed his ambitions by winning the intermediate sprint during the second lap. Nys took 15s while Pauwels grabbed 10s and Albert the remaining five.

Nys and Albert rode head-to-head in a two-man battle for supremacy at the head of the race, but during the second half Nys clearly had something extra on the steepest section of the Koppenberg, though Albert always managed to return in the descent. Adding an additional element to the mix, during the sixth of eight laps the weather turned around dramatically with strong gusts of wind and heavy rain arriving in Oudenaarde. Consequently, a drying course turned into a slippery pool of mud which sent several riders over the handlebars on the now very difficult, twisting descent of the Koppenberg.

At the head of affairs and entering the final lap, Albert made the first mistake when he clicked out of his pedal right after entering the meadows at the bottom of the Koppenberg. Nys put the pressure on and made Albert work hard to come back on his wheel. By the time Albert was nearly on his wheel the duo reached the second part of the climb and Nys gave full gas. Albert didn't stand a chance.

While Nys rocketed up the steepest gradients on his bike Albert struggled and had to put his foot on the ground. "Nys was the best uphill. He has a great cadence in the small gear. Due to the changing circumstances there was no time to communicate a change of tyres to the pit crew at the bottom. I was losing grip uphill," Albert said. "At the top of the climb I was 13 seconds down on Nys and that was about the same at the finish."

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) overcame some tough moments and he rode two great final laps. He was best of the rest at 1:04 from winner Nys. Young French champion Aurélien Duval rode his best race of the season and finished fourth. "I think I was the best in the chase group but not good enough to battle with the leaders. In the end Vantornout was faster but that's probably experience," Duval told Cyclingnews.

Meanwhile Pauwels was struggling hard to control damages but at the finish he clocked a loss of more than two minutes on Albert. "I knew right away that it was going to be hard, that I didn't have a good day. I don't know why. Winning these series is no longer possible for me," Pauwels said at the finish line.

Full Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony1:00:31
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:14
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:04
4Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube0:01:15
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:22
6Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:25
7Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:29
8Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:01:31
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:49
10Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:10
11Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:27
12Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:03:21
13Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:03:39
14Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:47
15Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:54
16Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:03:58
17Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:03:59
18Jonathan Page (USA)Row 17 - Cell 2
19Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:09
20Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:04:36
21Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco0:05:16
22Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:05:31
23Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:05:35
24Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:05:52
25Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks0:06:13
26Bart Hofman (Bel) Afdeling Oost-Vlaanderen WBV-VZW0:06:22
27Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:06:37
28Kevin Cant (Bel)0:06:53
29Robby Cobbaert (Bel)0:07:34
30Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept0:08:37
31Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)Row 30 - Cell 2
32Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-EuphonyRow 31 - Cell 2
33Gianni Denolf (Bel)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36CyclingRow 33 - Cell 2
35Alexander Revell (NZl)Row 34 - Cell 2
DNFTom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - FideaRow 35 - Cell 2
DNFRadomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - PowerplusRow 36 - Cell 2
DNFSven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-EuphonyRow 37 - Cell 2
DNFArnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - FideaRow 38 - Cell 2
DNFGerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Intermediate Sprint bonus
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Fastest lap
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:07:20
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:07:20
3Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube0:07:22
Swipe to scroll horizontally
bpost Bank Trofee classification after two rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus1:57:41
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:00:54
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:17
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:03:11
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:03:31
6Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:03:37
7Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:03:49
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:04:42
9Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:06:00
10Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube0:06:18
11Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:06:52
12Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:06:54
13Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:06:59
14Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:07:22
15Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:07:49
16Jonathan Page (USA)0:07:50
17Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:07:58
18Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:08:07
19Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:08:38
20Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:08:47
21Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco0:08:49
22Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:09:12
23Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:09:19
24Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:09:20
25Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:09:57
26Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:10:21
27Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-SpecializedRow 26 - Cell 2
28Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-RevorRow 27 - Cell 2
29Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-ShanksRow 28 - Cell 2
30Bart Hofman (Bel) Afdeling Oost-Vlaanderen WBV-VZWRow 29 - Cell 2
31Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-SpecializedRow 30 - Cell 2
32Kevin Cant (Bel)Row 31 - Cell 2
33Robby Cobbaert (Bel)Row 32 - Cell 2
34Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & ConceptRow 33 - Cell 2
35Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - FideaRow 34 - Cell 2
36Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-EuphonyRow 35 - Cell 2
37Yu Takenachi (Jpn)Row 36 - Cell 2
38Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - PowerplusRow 38 - Cell 2
40Gianni Denolf (Bel) CyclingchampsRow 39 - Cell 2
41Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36CyclingRow 40 - Cell 2
42Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - FideaRow 41 - Cell 2
43Alexander Revell (NZl) Revolution BicyclesRow 42 - Cell 2
44Dave De Cleyn (Bel)Row 43 - Cell 2
45Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet TaldeaRow 44 - Cell 2
46Kevin Eeckhout (Bel)Row 45 - Cell 2
47Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDLRow 46 - Cell 2
48Stijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Stef Boden (Bel) Sunweb-RevorRow 48 - Cell 2
50Mathieu Willemyns (Bel)Row 49 - Cell 2
51Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - FideaRow 50 - Cell 2
52Sven Belen (Bel)Row 51 - Cell 2
53Kyle F Kiser (USA)Row 52 - Cell 2
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor5pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus3Row 2 - 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