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Albert prevails in soupy Superprestige Hamme Zogge

Former world champion Niels Albert (BKCP Powerplus) put in the strongest ride of his season so far to win an extra muddy Superprestige round in Hamme-Zogge. Albert powered away from world champion Sven Nys (Crelan-KDL) in the closing laps to take only his third win, and his first C1 victory of the season.

Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) was riding in a solid third place until a late mechanical forced him to run to the pits, allowing Philipp Walsleben (BKCP Powerplus) to climb onto the final podium step. Walsleben's teammate Wietse Bosmans and BMC's Julien Taramarcaz also slipped in ahead, dropping Vantornout to third in the Superprestige rankings behind Nys and Albert.

After weeks of lacklustre performances, Albert finally found his ignition switch, and halfway through the race started his demolition of the field. One lap later both Nys and Vantornout were gone for good.

"I came here hoping not to lose too many points on the others. It turned out the opposite way. I'm gaining points back," Albert said. "It's a sort of relief. Of course I'd rather drive back home with a win than a seventh place in the pocket. The course was made for big engines with its mud and running sections,"

Early on it seemed as if Albert wouldn't play a major role in the race. The 27-year-old Belgian started well but suddenly he made a U-turn and saw the riders coming his way. "I rode in a wrong track, got stuck in the fencing and suddenly someone touched my rear wheel and my bike turned around. I had to wait until everyone passed me before I got going again," Albert said. In two laps time Albert moved back up from a seemingly beaten position to the front group where Nys set the pace.

"I had a good start and felt strong so I profited from that, avoiding any trouble," Nys said. "Niels? These races don't lie. The strongest rider always wins. I have no problem to admit that Niels was better today. I tried to make the most of it."

In a battle for the overall lead in the Superprestige cyclo-cross series Nys and Vantornout literally clashed with each other, twice during the penultimate lap. At first Nys was annoyed when Vantornout didn't make it up a climb, which hindered him and caused him to lose ground on the Belgian champion. A little later Nys rode into Vantornout's rear wheel. Vantornout's bike was a wreck, forcing him to run to salvage his classification as several rivals were riding by.

While Albert had time to welcome the applause, while Nys easily held off Walsleben for second place.

Next up is the event in the Soudal cyclo-cross series in Niel on Monday. Next week Nys defends his leading position in the Superprestige cyclo-cross series in Gavere.

Full Results
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team1:03:33
2Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team0:00:13
3Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:36
4Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:00:58
5Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:01:00
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:01:42
7Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:52
9Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:01:57
10Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:02:01
11Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:02:11
12Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:02:21
13Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:32
14Micki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team0:02:40
15Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:03:20
16Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:03:29
17Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:03:55
18Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:04
19Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team0:05:27
20Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
21Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team
22Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team0:06:14
23Davy Commeyne (Bel) Accent Jobs-Wanty Cycling Team0:06:34
24Kevin Cant (Bel) Primator Cyclingteam0:07:01
25 (-3 laps)Mitchell Huenders (Ned) Ruiter Dakkapellen Wielerteam
26Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Colba-Superano Ham
27James Spragg (GBr) Team Bergamont bicycles by BMC Group
28 (-4 laps)Edmond Angus (NZl)
29Ivan Jovanovic (Srb)
DNFThijs Al (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team
DNFTom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team
DNFMartin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
DNFDieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team
DNFNiels Koyen (Bel) Van Goethem-Prorace Cycling Team

Superprestige classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team43pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team40
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team38
4Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team29
5Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus27
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team25
7Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team22
8Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team21
9Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team21
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team16
11Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team16
12Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team15
13Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team14
14Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team9
15Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team5
16Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team5
17Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team4
18Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team3
19Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team
20Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles1
21Micki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team1


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