Elite men: -
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.
|1||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games||1:03:23|
|2||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:00:05|
|3||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:00:08|
|4||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team||0:00:37|
|5||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony||0:00:38|
|6||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:01:06|
|7||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||0:01:14|
|8||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games|
|9||Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor||0:01:16|
|10||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus|
|11||Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus||0:02:06|
|12||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-Euphony||0:02:21|
|13||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept||0:02:29|
|14||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games||0:02:43|
|15||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team||0:03:05|
|16||Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:03:28|
|17||Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea||0:03:47|
|18||Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:03:49|
|19||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:03:56|
|20||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team||0:04:07|
|21||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept||0:04:13|
|22||Jonathan Page (USA)||0:04:27|
|23||Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus||0:04:39|
|24||Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized||0:05:12|
|25||Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Crelan-KDL||0:05:25|
|26||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah||0:05:38|
|27||Stef Boden (Bel)||0:05:58|
|28||Micky van Empel (Ned) Crelan-KDL||0:06:03|
|29||Davy Commeyne (Bel)||0:06:39|
|30||Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:07:00|
|31||Kevin Cant (Bel)||0:07:13|
|32||Niels Wubben (Ned) Giant Off-Road Team|
|33||Bjorn Rondelez (Bel)|
|34||Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-Euphony||109||pts|
|2||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||102|
|3||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games||99|
|4||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games||90|
|5||Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||75|
|6||Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team||73|
|7||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||52|
|8||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Giant Off-Road Team||49|
|9||Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus||35|
|10||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea||33|
|11||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus||32|
|12||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team||30|
|13||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team||28|
|14||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept||23|
|15||Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah||19|
|16||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||16|
|17||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-Euphony||16|
|18||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games||16|
|19||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step||13|
|20||Jonathan Page (USA)||11|
|21||Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah||10|
|22||Aurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube||7|
|23||Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor||7|
|24||Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||5|
|25||Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team||4|
|26||Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Crelan-KDL||2|
|27||Micky van Empel (Ned) Crelan-KDL||2|
|28||Niels Wubben (Ned) Giant Off-Road Team||1|
|29||Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||1|
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