Telenet-Fidea rider Tom Meeusen won a hard-fought third Superprestige round in Ruddervoorde, Belgium, on Sunday, out-sprinting Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP-Powerplus) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) finished fourth in the sprint after a fast race on a dry course.
"I was having a great time. The level was high so I had even more fun, rode even closer on the wheels, riding narrow lines," an excited Meeusen said in the post-race interview tent. "Ruddervoorde is quite a big race and I've never won here. I wanted to score here and I managed to do so."
Van der Poel becomes the sole leader in the overall standings, overtaking former leaders Nys and Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimeano). Van der Haar had to overcome a mid-race tangle with Telenet's Corné van Kessel to salvage his position in the rankings, and after finishing fifth he is now third overall.
Van der Poel was pleased with his performance although he missed a chance to do better. "More was possible. I wanted to lead the group when entering the sand section but I made a mistake and ended up riding in third place. That was too far to have a chance in the sprint. Nevertheless I'm pleased that I'm the new leader. It's a nice bonus," Van der Poel told Cyclingnews.
The win from Meeusen came after a fast and tactical race on the meadow with artificial hills and the cobbled road of the Pyfferoen family in Ruddervoorde. Meeusen was already present in the early lead group which also included Van der Haar and Vantornout.
During the fourth of ten laps Nys closed the gap on the leaders. The Belgian champion was followed by Jens Adams (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace), Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). The large lead group of eight riders battled each other for several laps without creating major damage. The eight men were to battle for the win in the final lap.
"The group was too big for me," Nys said. "If you want to win here you need to be aggressive enough to hold your ground. I lacked that today." In the final laps Nys sat at the back of the group, saving his energy for a last lap surge to the front but he only managed to move up to fourth place.
By the time Nys made his move, Meeusen was already riding his lap-long sprint. At first he was helped by a bobble from Vantornout but then a small mistake through the sand section put the Sunweb rider back into contention. "I was praying that I would not make a mistake. I made a mistake. Luckily I had enough left in my tank to ride the sprint," Meeusen said.
Vantornout didn't have an acceleration left in his legs to repeat his victory from last year. "It's the course that ruined it for me. I'm not a super technical rider. I felt really strong though. I'm pleased that I'm consequently battling for the win," Vantornout told Cyclingnews.
The next round of the Superprestige series is held next week in Asper-Gavere.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||1:03:06|
|2||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|3||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|4||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Giant-Shimano Development Team||0:00:12|
|6||Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||0:00:15|
|7||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:00:30|
|8||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:00:57|
|9||Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||0:01:06|
|10||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:01:09|
|11||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||0:01:23|
|12||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:01:42|
|13||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team||0:01:46|
|14||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:01:54|
|15||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:10|
|16||Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|17||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|18||Tim Merlier (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:02:26|
|19||Gert-Jan Bosman (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg Continentaal Team||0:02:35|
|20||Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:02:37|
|21||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||0:02:48|
|22||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||0:03:07|
|23||Michael Boros (CZE) CEZ Cyklo Team Tabor||0:03:22|
|24||Patrick Gaudy (Bel) Veranclassic-Doltcini Cycling Team||0:03:25|
|25||Marcel Meisen (Ger) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:04:12|
|26||Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:04:27|
|27||Yu Takenouchi (Jpn)||0:04:31|
|28||Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team||0:04:43|
|29||Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team||0:05:00|
|30||Hendrik Sweeck (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||0:05:18|
|31||Stijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling Team||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||Niels Koyen (Bel) CCN - Metalac Cycling team||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Kevin Van Hoovels||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Radomir Simunek (Cze) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Lubomir Petrus (Cze)||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|DNF||David van der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Vinnie Braet (Bel)||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|DNF||Denis Flahaut (Fra)||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result||Header Cell - Column 3|
|1||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||40||pts|
|2||Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team||39||Row 1 - Cell 3|
|3||Lars van der Haar (Ned) Giant-Shimano Development Team||38||Row 2 - Cell 3|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||34||Row 3 - Cell 3|
|5||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||34||Row 4 - Cell 3|
|6||Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||33||Row 5 - Cell 3|
|7||Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||24||Row 6 - Cell 3|
|8||Jens Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||20||Row 7 - Cell 3|
|9||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||18||Row 8 - Cell 3|
|10||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||13||Row 9 - Cell 3|
|11||David van der Poel (Ned) BKCP - Powerplus Cycling Team||12||Row 10 - Cell 3|
|12||Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||9||Row 11 - Cell 3|
|13||Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||8||Row 12 - Cell 3|
|14||Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||8||Row 13 - Cell 3|
|15||Joeri Adams (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team||8||Row 14 - Cell 3|
|16||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||7||Row 15 - Cell 3|
|17||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink Team||6||Row 16 - Cell 3|
|18||Gianni Vermeersch (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team||5||Row 17 - Cell 3|
|19||Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Corendon - KwadrO Cycling Team||4||Row 18 - Cell 3|
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