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Nys seals tenth Superprestige title

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) dominated the seventh Superprestige round in Hoogstraten, Belgium, capturing the win ahead of Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea). With one more round left, he's already certain of his tenth overall victory in the Superprestige Series.

"It's not often that I say that what I do is special, but this time I can say that this won't be equalled in the near future," Nys said.

Mild temperatures and rain showers resulted in a soaked, muddy course on which many riders struggled to choose the best ruts on the fast descents. During the first lap Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) was the first to crash but many others followed his example.

Meanwhile, Nys limited his mistakes. During the first lap a lead group of seven was formed but after Nys' first acceleration only Pauwels was able to stay with the Superprestige legend. During the following laps it was clear he had the upper hand on Pauwels as the latter was constantly dropped on the climbs. "I was already struggling during the first lap to keep up with Nys," he admitted afterwards.

Halfway through the race Albert took over Pauwels' position in front but the Belgian champion also struggled to keep up with Nys on the climbs.

During the sixth lap, Albert made two mistakes and this time Nys was gone for good. "I had a lot of strength in my legs and felt good. On the asphalt I saved some energy to be fresh on the technical sections and avoid mistakes. In case Niels Albert returned I saved some energy but in the end it wasn't necessary," Nys said.

A key moment occurred when Albert hopped off the bike on a climb while Nys rode on and quickly gapped the Belgian champion. "Before that I got into a bad track and ended up sideways on the course. I didn't have enough speed to make it over the climb. It was a difficult course and choosing the right tracks was difficult today," Albert said.

The Belgian champion added that his second place was the best possible result for him in Hoogstraten. "Sven is the deserved winner today. It wasn't possible to beat him. He was very strong but I made two mistakes in half a lap and had to change bikes, that didn't help," Albert said.

Behind the two protagonists Pauwels held on to his third place. It wasn't what Saturday's winner expected. "I was surprised nobody returned from behind. I still felt the efforts from yesterday and the tough course with many ruts made it hard for my back. I didn't crash though and sometimes I made a detour to avoid deep ruts. I finished third but that wouldn't be the case if Stybar wouldn't have crashed," Pauwels said.

World champion Zdenek Stybar crashed several times on the tricky course and in hindsight the Czech can be happy that he didn't get injured. Up until his crash in the third lap Stybar was in the mix in front, but from there his crashes made a comeback impossible. "I crashed twice and after the second crash I didn't get back into the rhythm. I also started feeling pain in my back," Stybar told Sporza.

The world champion eventually finished sixth, just behind Vantornout and Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Revor). Arriving at the back of this group was young Kenneth Van Compernolle (Style & Concept). The 22-year-old captured his best result in a C1-race this season with a seventh place in Hoogstraten.

Almost half a minute later Gerben de Knegt (Rabo-Giant Offroad) won a battle with Jonathan Page for ninth place. Despite falling short in that battle Page was pleased with the outcome. "In the penultimate lap he [De Knegt] went skewy. Unintentionally I followed him and got stuck with my front wheel and crashed. That was my only mistake today," Page said.

The US rider has a lot on his mind recently with the birth of his third child Pearl Wendel this week and the sponsor planning for next season. "I'm very tired but not unhappy with the situation. Today I went as hard as I could and used others as much as possible but I was on my limit," Page said.

Next week the last Superprestige round is held for the first time at the North Sea coast in Middelkerke, Belgium. The overall winner is already known as it is impossible for anyone to gain enough points to unseat Nys, but the battle for second place is wide open with Pauwels, Albert and Stybar being only separated by only four points.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet1:00:29
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:34
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:06
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:17
5Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:29
6Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:38
7Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:42
8Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:05
9Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:02:26
10Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:02:34
11Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:56
12Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:03:39
13Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS0:03:46
14Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:03:48
15Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:03:52
16Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team0:04:40
17Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor0:04:59
18Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team
19Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus
20 (-1 lap)Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ
21Kevin Cant (Bel)
22 (-2 laps)Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team
23Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)
24Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team
25 (-3 laps)Mitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus
26 (-4 laps)Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace

Superprestige standings after 7 rounds
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet97pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team78
3Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus75
4Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team74
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team64
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team49
7Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor47
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team44
9Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team41
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team35
11Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor34
12Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus22
13Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus22
14Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus20
15Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cycling Team18
16Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Revor18
17Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team17
18Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom17
19Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus14
20Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team11
21Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike9
22Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team8
23Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team5
24Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com4
25Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor4
26Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans3
27Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS3
28Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team2
29John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale2
30Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team2
31Tom van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team1


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