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Nys wins in the mud

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Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) powers through the mud.

Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) powers through the mud. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) celebrates victory

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) celebrates victory (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea)

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) ankle deep in mud.

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) ankle deep in mud. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb - Revor) finished in second place.

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb - Revor) finished in second place. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet - Fidea) would finish the day in 4th place.

Bart Wellens (Telenet - Fidea) would finish the day in 4th place. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) runs the stairs.

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) runs the stairs. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) en route to a podium finish in Hamme-Zogge.

Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) en route to a podium finish in Hamme-Zogge. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) runs ahead of Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet).

Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) runs ahead of Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet). (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Sven Nys and Klaas Vantornout at the head of the race.

Sven Nys and Klaas Vantornout at the head of the race. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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World champion Zdenek Stybar leads Telenet - Fidea teammate Bart Wellens.

World champion Zdenek Stybar leads Telenet - Fidea teammate Bart Wellens. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus)

Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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It was a dirty race

It was a dirty race (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Nys goes on the run

Nys goes on the run (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus)

Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus) (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) on the steps

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) on the steps (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea)

Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Despite the weather, the crowds were huge

Despite the weather, the crowds were huge (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Here they come

Here they come (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) fought for fourth place

Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) fought for fourth place (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Štybar (Telenet-Fidea) suffered with a back problem

Zdenek Štybar (Telenet-Fidea) suffered with a back problem (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team

Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Riders spent more time carrying their bikes than riding them

Riders spent more time carrying their bikes than riding them (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) won but it still hurt

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) won but it still hurt (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet)

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Štybar (Telenet-Fidea) after the finish

Zdenek Štybar (Telenet-Fidea) after the finish (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys discovers the mud was ankle deep in parts

Sven Nys discovers the mud was ankle deep in parts (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) in the mud

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) in the mud (Image credit: Gregor Brown in Châteauroux)
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Beer was the best way to keep hydrated

Beer was the best way to keep hydrated (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike in the worst of the mud

Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike in the worst of the mud (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) had a great start

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) had a great start (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Everyone was hurting in the conditions

Everyone was hurting in the conditions (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) gets some close support

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) gets some close support (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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The Elite men raced for almost an hour in this

The Elite men raced for almost an hour in this (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Riders tackled the conditions anyway they could

Riders tackled the conditions anyway they could (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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It was ankle deep in some places but the crowds loved it

It was ankle deep in some places but the crowds loved it (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) breaks clear

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) breaks clear (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Mud glorious mud

Mud glorious mud (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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The riders were forced to run on long sections of the course

The riders were forced to run on long sections of the course (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Vantornout leads up a ramp

Vantornout leads up a ramp (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) accepts second place

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) accepts second place (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)
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The podium: Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) , Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and

The podium: Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) , Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and (Image credit: ispaphoto.com)

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) ran and rode through often ankle-deep mud to win the third round of the Superprestige series in Hamme-Zogge, Belgium and put aside world champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) as leader in the series.

Race organizer Jurgen Mettepenningen hoped one of his Sunweb-Revor riders would win the race and though Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) came close, it was Nys who was ultimately proved fasted on and off the bike in the flooded fields of Zogge.

“I'm very satisfied because there was way too much running involved,” Nys said. “Three years ago the national championships were held in similar conditions on this course and then I lost the race before the start. This time I told myself: “You've won the last couple of races and you've got the best form of the pack, so go for it.”

Thanks to the win Nys also moved past world champion Zdenek Štybar (Telenet-Fidea) and Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant Offroad) to take top spot in the Superprestige series standing, a series he already won nine times.

“We're one step closer to a possible tenth overall win. I'm closing a gap on Stybar which was already significantly. Guys like Stybar and Albert tend not to finish off the podium quite often, so when they do it's ideal to grab the win. It's better to be ahead of them than to chase them,” Nys said.

A mud bath

Heavy rain during the last few days had turned the course into a quagmire, creating terrible conditions to compete in but a spectacular race to watch.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) created the first real split with four and a half laps to go but then Nys charged across to them, leaving Stybar stuck in the mud behind.

All three riders tried to attack during the final laps. Vantornout looked strong on the last lap and he accelerated while running through the mud but Nys chased him down and went past him

“I actually thought that it was the winning move. When I looked back I was surprised to see Nys running right behind me; his form is fantastic,” Vantornout said while reflecting on the last lap racing action.

While Nys showed persistence and hung on, Albert cracked and settled for third place. Nys then stormed past Vantornout inside the final kilometre to take another big win. For a moment Nys struggled in the sand and Vantornout got back to within ten metres but it was not enough.

“I made a small mistake that handed Nys a 20-metre lead but then I saw him flounder in the sand. It's a tough section and I still had one last acceleration left in my legs and believed in my chances if the race had finished in a sprint,” Vantornout said.

He didn't get that chance, as Nys held on to his small lead and headed to his first win of the season in the Superprestige series and prove he is back to his best.

World champion Stybar had been struggling with a back injury and toiled in the tough conditions. His team-mates Bart Wellens and Rob Peeters distanced him in the final laps to finish fourth and fifth, with Stybar sixth and losing his lead in the Superprestige series.

“I don't blame him (Peeters) for that. He's got to fight for his World Cup selection. Before the race I would've signed on the line for sixth place. I had a lot of pain when I was running, so every moment off the bike was one too many. I suffered a lot. Now it's time to recover,” Stybar said.

Page starts fast but empties the tank

American rider and Cyclingnews blogger Jonathan Page (Planetbike) arrived in Zogge after a great fourth place in Saturday's race in Dottignies under his belt. He set off with a bang during the first lap but from then on he steadily lost ground and eventually finished in 19th position. “After twenty minutes I had nothing left in my tank. Fitness-wise I'm ok but it's clear that three tough races in one week are a bit too much for me right now,” Page said.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:59:58
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:04
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:40
4Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:10
5Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:26
6Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:37
7Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:48
8Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:01:57
9Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team0:02:03
10Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:02:07
11Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:48
12Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:03:29
13Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:03:36
14Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:03:39
15Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:03:50
16Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:04:11
17Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:04:40
18Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:05:15
19Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:05:24
20Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor0:06:22
21Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:06:45
22Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans0:06:51
23Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team0:07:55
24Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:08:16
-1lapRobert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team
-1lapMitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus
-2lapsBart Hofman (Bel)
-3lapsCraig Richey (Can) Cyclocrossracing.Com p/b Blue
-3lapsCarlos Hernandez (Spa)
-3lapsJorge Cantalicio (Spa)
-3lapsBart Verschueren (Bel)
-4lapsRoger Rodriguez (Spa)
-5lapsManuel Martin (Spa)

Superprestige Topsport Vlaanderen Trofee elite men's classification after three rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet41pts
2Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team40
3Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team33
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus33
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team32
6Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team31
7Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor21
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team20
9Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team15
10Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor15
11Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team13
12Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom12
12Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus12
14Enrico Franzoi (Ita)11
15Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team7
16Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team6
17Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus5
18Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor4
19Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans3
19Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team3
21Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike1

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