Meeusen victorious at Superprestige Middelkerke

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) won the final round of the Superprestige cyclo-cross series in Middelkerke, at the windy Belgian coast. Meeusen soloed to victory 19 seconds ahead of Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) with Belgian champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) rounding out the top three at 29 seconds.

"I'm super happy," Meeusen said. "It's the first time I won without having to sprint for it. Winning here was my only goal after a somewhat disappointing world championship race. It's my fifth win of the season. I've won a race in every major classification. Now I can comfortably enter the off-season."

Meeusen was accompanied by Kevin Pauwels during the first three laps but knew he could put his technical skills to use to distance his compatriot. "During the first laps I didn't feel great but stayed in front. I didn't want to ride away from Kevin but by hopping the barriers I created a gap of ten metres," Meeusen said.

Pauwels realized he probably lost the race on that technical section. "We were equally strong but he made the difference on the barriers. They were quite high and it was muddy there too. Too bad I still haven't won a race," Pauwels said.

Slowly the gap increased and at the finish line Pauwels was nearly twenty seconds behind on the technical course. Behind Meeusen and Pauwels it was Nys who managed the final podium spot. That third place was just enough to overtake the man in seventh on the day, Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), and take a thirteenth overall win in the Superprestige series.

Right after finishing Nys thought he had just missed out on the overall win. "I thought Niels was sixth. This is unbelievable. Equal points in the Superprestige series. It means Niels did a great season, too," Nys said.

For most of the race Nys rode in fourth place at quite a distance from Dutch champion Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team). Though not realizing that the overall win was within his reach if he overtook the Dutchman, Nys nonetheless made it his goal. "I had to get back to him. He made me work very hard for it. Even at the finish line he kept pushing me," Nys said.

While Nys and Albert were fighting for the overall win in the Superprestige there was a big battle going on for third place in the series as well. Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) managed to keep up with Nys for a long time. If he finished third then he would hold off Meeusen for third overall. Vantornout fell short, however, as he finished fifth.

The only man without classification ambitions was Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink). By riding in sixth place he was ruining the classification for a very frustrated Niels Albert. Despite his four-point lead over Nys heading into the race in Middelkerke Albert didn't manage to keep only two riders in between him and the Belgian champion.

"I saw that Sven wasn't having a great day so I knew it was possible for me," Albert said. "A unnecessary move from Corné van Kessel in the first lap blocked me. After that I tried to move up too quickly. In the end I just didn't manage to move up. This race was like my whole season, close but not close enough."

Further back, a bad start and a crash in the pit ruined Jonathan Page's (Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist) race. In previous years he managed some good results in Middelkerke but on Saturday he finished just outside the Superprestige points in sixteenth place.

Next week marks the last cyclo-cross race of the season with the final round of the Bpost Bank Trophy series in Oostmalle, Belgium on Sunday.

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Full Results
1Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:57:32
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:00:19
3Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:29
4Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:30
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:01:03
6Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:01:07
7Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:01:12
8Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb–Napoleon Games0:01:20
9Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:55
10Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:02
11Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace0:02:07
12Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink Cycling Team0:02:42
13Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:55
14Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:03:03
15Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:03:08
16Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist0:03:14
17Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:03:23
18Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) Team Natubalans-Apex0:03:24
19Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:03:33
20Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:04:00
21Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team0:04:09
22Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace Cycling Team
23Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team0:04:20
24Micki Van Empel (Ned) KDL Cycling Team0:04:26
25Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:04:42
26Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:54
27Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:05:24
28Davy Commeyne (Bel) Smartphoto Cycling Team0:05:59
29Kevin Cant (Bel) Primator Cyclingteam0:07:42
30Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
31Niels Koyen (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team-2laps
32Nicolas Le Besq (Fra)
33Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) An Post-Chainreaction
34Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio
35Teemu Viholainen (Fin)-3laps
36Nick Both (Aus)-4laps
DNFRadomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
DNFWietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team
DNFJon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio
DNFPatrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team
DNFLubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team
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Final Superprestige standings
1Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink Cycling Team101pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team101
3Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team84
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team83
5Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus77
6Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team75
7Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team57
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace Cycling Team53
9Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team49
10Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team33
11Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team27
12Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team27
13Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team25
14Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team22
15Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team22
16Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team21
17Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace19
18Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb–Napoleon Games17
19Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink Cycling Team14
20Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-QuickStep12
21Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team11
22Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team8
23Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team6
24Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team4
25Micki Van Empel (Ned) KDL Cycling Team3
26Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist3
27Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized2
29Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa) Specialized-Garmar2
29Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team1
30Vinnie Braet (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team1

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