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Vantornout wins Superprestige finale

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) soloed to victory today at the final round of the Superprestige series in Middelkerke, Belgium. The win was doubly important for the 28-year-old Belgian as it was his first victory of the season as well as the first big win for his Sunweb-Revor team. Telenet-Fidea teammates Kevin Pauwels and Bart Wellens rounded out the top three, finishing 13 seconds and 21 seconds respectively behind Vantornout.

"Actually this comes as a surprise to me," an emotional Vantornout said. "I was very motivated for this 'cross race on home soil and I made it happen.

"Today I was better than the rest. This makes up for a lot...for everything: a victory in a big 'cross race in front of my home crowd."

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) had already won his 10th overall Superprestige title at the penultimate round in Hoogstraten last weekend and finished sixth on the day in Middelkerke.

On a demanding course with countless turns and few recuperation zones, the freshest riders took to the front nearing the conclusion of the 2010-2011 'cross season. Early accelerations from Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Revor), Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) and Pauwels were neutralized but eventually an 11-rider lead group formed half way throught the race with world champion Stybar being the only non-Belgian.

Vantornout soon seized his opportunity for victory with a decisive acceleration which quickly gapped his rivals. Nys, Pauwels, Vanthourenhout, Stybar, Wellens, Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) formed the chase group behind the surging Vantornout.

With three laps to go Vantornout had more than 20 seconds on the most active chasers Pauwels and Nys. The latter dropped back in the race finale while Wellens moved up. Vantornout kept his composure and brought home the first win of the season for himself and a jubilant team manager Jurgen Mettepenningen.

Behind Vantornout it was Pauwels who won the battle for second place, both in the race and in the overall Superprestige rankings, while his teammate Wellens completed the podium in Middelkerke. It was the first podium result in the Superprestige series for Wellens this season.

"This feels very good," said Wellens. "The first four laps I didn't believe in it but in the end I started going better."

Wellens's young teammate Meeusen was pleased with his fourth place finish. "Last year I was second but then the level wasn't as high," Meeusen said. "This was a very tough course. Maturity and freshness mattered here and I'm very happy with this fourth place."

World champion Zdenek Stybar's fifth place finish was enough for the Czech to jump over Albert into third place in the overall Superprestige rankings and grab an additional 2750 Euro in prize money.

Cousins Dieter and Sven Vanthourenhout finished eighth and ninth on the day and young Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept) rounded out the top-10 more than two minutes off the pace of Vantornout.

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike), the sole American at the race, finished 14th.

Full Results
1Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor1:02:31
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:13
3Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:21
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:39
5Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:47
6Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:59
7Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:22
8Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:31
9Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:39
10Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:02:16
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:53
12Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:03:06
13Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept0:03:14
14Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:03:20
15Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team0:03:51
16Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:04:18
17Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:04:42
18Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus0:04:53
19Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor0:05:01
20Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team
21Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team0:05:04
22Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)0:05:52
23Marco Bianco (Ita)0:06:21
24Bart Hofman (Bel) Afdeling Oost-Vlaanderen WBV - VZW0:06:38
25Kevin Cant (Bel) Van Goethem Prorace Cycling Team0:07:04
26Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team-1lap
27Egoitz Murgoitio (Spa)
28Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team-2laps

Superprestige final overall standings
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet107pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team92
3Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team85
4Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus84
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team77
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor62
7Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team56
8Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team53
9Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off Road Team42
10Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor41
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team40
12Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus30
13Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept24
14Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus22
15Kenneth van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept21
16Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus20
17Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team17
18Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ17
19Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus14
20Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team11
21Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike11
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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