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Nys opens Superprestige account with 56th win

The Hansgrohe Superprestige series opener in sunny Ruddervoorde, Belgium on Sunday evening was won – for the ninth time – by Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet). At the end of the final lap, in the final corners of the ever-twisting sticky course the clever Belgian champion distanced world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus). Kevin Pauwels completed the podium at half a minute from the duo.

"This win no longer feels like it did during the first years as a pro rider but I still feel like a kid who can go to the playground," Nys commented on his 56th Superprestige win. Despite a busy summer season on the mountain bike, which included the Olympic Games, the 36-year-old Belgian doesn't seem to run out of gas. "I take it like it comes. It wasn't possible to ride alone around here, against Niels. I did feel that I have an acceleration in my legs which I could use for the final lap. It helped that I have beaten Niels twice lately in similar conditions. That boosts my confidence and I think that I can win it like that in 70 percent of the occasions."

Albert wasn't too downhearted by the defeat. "I wanted a sprint but made a small mistake and he took ten metres. Could I ever win a sprint against Nys? I'm confident I can," Albert said.

Early on there was no sign of the two protagonists as Dutch youngster Lars van der Haar blasted away and took the hole shot. Men like Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) and local rider Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) took over the command but were unable to cause damage. After two laps there were still nine riders in the lead group. During the following lap Nys and Albert moved to the front. Only Van der Haar was able to hook on his wagon at the end of the lap. One lap later Pauwels joined the leaders as well. More accelerations from Nys and Albert quickly put Pauwels and Van der Haar in the hurt box and halfway the race they were dropped for good.

"The accelerations from Niels hurt but I think it was the same the other way around. Because we both rode hard we gained ground on the rest. Then it started becoming tactical and Kevin Pauwels made up some time on us but it was because we both felt that we could win the race," Nys said.

Pauwels kept riding at relatively short distance but he was never a threat. "I knew that even if I bridged up they would be better," Pauwels told Cyclingnews.

Albert and Nys hit the final lap together and the big crowds in Ruddervoorde seemed to crush the fences, leaning out to see how the race would be decided. "I kicked off the final lap to perfection. I led the first bit, put some pressure in the sand section and made a gap. Then he had to come back which costs some energy. I was saving some energy and then in the two, three final corners – on experience - I went full gas. I used my explosiveness and gained ten metres and he was unable to close it down," Nys explained.

Full Results
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL1:04:43
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:27
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:36
5Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:39
6Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus
7Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team
8Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:46
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:00
10Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:21
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:54
12Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:02
13Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:02:12
14Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL
15Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:02:23
16Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea0:02:35
17Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:02:45
18Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team
19Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus
20Aurilien Duval (Fra) UV Aube0:02:52
21Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole
22Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea
23Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:02:55
24Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:59
25Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:03:19
26Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept0:03:23
27Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:03:29
28Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:33
29Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:51
30Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Big-Mat Auber 930:03:57
31Dave De Cleyn (Bel)0:04:32
32Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:42
33Jonathan Page (USA)0:05:38
34Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36Cycling0:05:52
35Steven De Decker (Bel)0:06:02
36Dries Pauwels (Bel) Melbotech Prorace CT0:06:08
37Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:06:25
38Gianni Denolf (Bel) Cyclingchamps0:06:39
39Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks0:07:17
40 (-4 laps)Mitchell Huenders (Ned)
41Alexander Revell (NZl) Revolution Bicycles
DNFRadomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL
DNFMariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco
DNFArnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea
DNFMarcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus
DNFPascal Le Roux (Fra)

Superprestige standings after round 1
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL15pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus14
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor13
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor12
5Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea11
6Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus10
7Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team9
8Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea8
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team7
10Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team6
11Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea5
12Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor4
13Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team3
14Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL2
15Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-KDL1

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