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Vantornout wins Superprestige finale in Middelkerke

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Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) is pleased with his third place result in Middelkerke.

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) is pleased with his third place result in Middelkerke.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World champion Sven Nys arrives on stage to celebrate the 12th Superprestige title of his career.

World champion Sven Nys arrives on stage to celebrate the 12th Superprestige title of his career.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Superprestige Middelkerke elite men's podium (L-R): Niels Albert, Klaas Vantornout and Tom Meeusen

Superprestige Middelkerke elite men's podium (L-R): Niels Albert, Klaas Vantornout and Tom Meeusen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout wins the final round of the Superprestige series.

Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout wins the final round of the Superprestige series.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)

The Superprestige series finale in Middelkerke, Belgium was won by Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). It's the fifth win of the season for the clearly on-form Belgian champion. Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) finished second at five seconds, while Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) secured the final podium spot three seconds behind Albert.

Bart Aernouts (AA Drink Cyclocross Team) finished fourth, followed by world champion Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) in fifth, more than enough to secure his twelfth overall win in the Superprestige Series.

"At the start of the season this wasn't my goal but then I won four consecutive races," Nys said on Vier. "Then you can't do anything else than go for it.

"Today I lacked freshness. I wasn't able to develop the power like I usually do. I made too many mistakes. I bridged up to the front but was never at ease. Too bad I wasn't able to do more if you see how many people showed up today."

Vantornout and Albert quickly attacked the rest of the field on the technical course in Middelkerke. A very eager Tom Meeusen joined forces with Nys in the chase on the two leaders. Halfway through the race the chasing duo made contact with Vantornout and Albert. Meeusen kept taking the initiative and impressed by showing off his technical skills on the barriers and the steep ramps.

Two and a half laps from the end Vantornout accelerated away in the sand and though lacking the technical skills of first chaser Meeusen it was clear that the Belgian champion had the bigger engine. Going into the final lap Vantornout increased his lead up to half a minute and it was clear the three chasers were battling for second place. Albert and Nys seemed to have the upper hand until Meeusen blasted away from the duo by hopping the barriers. Shortly afterwards Nys went over the handlebars and he sat up.

Vantornout had a lot of time to enjoy the applause from the crowd, winning for the second time in Middelkerke two years after his first victory here. Albert held off Meeusen for second place, with the latter clearly very pleased with his podium result. Nys eventually was passed by Bart Aernouts as he didn't push on for fourth place.

"Finally I wasn't struggling with my back," Aernouts said on Vier. "Too bad I crashed early on. I noticed Sven [Nys] wasn't pedalling in the last half and I need every point on Rob [Peeters], but I think it wasn't enough as he came back well."

Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) finished seventh on the day which was just enough to secure his fifth place in the overall Superprestige classification. "I started very bad," Peeters said. "It's all singletrack early on so I had to wait. I got going well and came close to my rivals but then I flatted. Eventually I got back to seventh place."

Much further back Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) finished 14th, citing illness, and wound up fourth overall on the Superprestige standings.

Two places further back Gerben de Knegt crossed the line in his final Superprestige race. The Dutchman was runner-up in the 2005-2006 edition of the Superprestige series and retires at the end of the season. "I only thought about it in the final lap. It's been good. My body is empty. I've been better before," De Knegt said on Vier.

Next week the final cyclo-cross race of the season will take place in Oostmalle.

Full Results
1Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games1:03:23
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:05
3Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:08
4Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:00:37
5Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony0:00:38
6Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:06
7Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:14
8Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
9Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:01:16
10Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus
11Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:06
12Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-Euphony0:02:21
13Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:02:29
14Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games0:02:43
15Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:05
16Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:28
17Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:03:47
18Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:49
19Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:56
20Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:04:07
21Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept0:04:13
22Jonathan Page (USA)0:04:27
23Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:39
24Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:05:12
25Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Crelan-KDL0:05:25
26Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah0:05:38
27Stef Boden (Bel)0:05:58
28Micky van Empel (Ned) Crelan-KDL0:06:03
29Davy Commeyne (Bel)0:06:39
30Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:07:00
31Kevin Cant (Bel)0:07:13
32Niels Wubben (Ned) Giant Off-Road Team
33Bjorn Rondelez (Bel)
34Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea

Final Superprestige standings
1Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony109pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus102
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games99
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games90
5Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea75
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team73
7Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea52
8Lars van der Haar (Ned) Giant Off-Road Team49
9Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus35
10Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea33
11Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus32
12Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team30
13Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team28
14Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept23
15Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah19
16Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus16
17Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-Euphony16
18Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games16
19Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step13
20Jonathan Page (USA)11
21Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah10
22Aurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube7
23Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor7
24Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team5
25Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team4
26Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Crelan-KDL2
27Micky van Empel (Ned) Crelan-KDL2
28Niels Wubben (Ned) Giant Off-Road Team1
29Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team1

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