Nys wins Superprestige Zonhoven

Cyclo-cross lovers were offered a great spectacle during the second round of the Hansgrohe Superprestige series in Zonhoven, Belgium, when Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) and world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) battled for every inch in a hard-fought finale. Eventually Nys came out on top. The 36-year-old strengthened his lead in the Superprestige series after two rounds.

“It was fantastic to ride here,” Nys told TV-channel Vier. “Every year there’s more people and the sand quarry adds value to the 'cross. Then again, if you see how hard we fought for every second, every bit of space... That’s what people want to see. It’s the riders who make the race.”

The early moves in Zonhoven were opened by Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) and Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team). Their efforts were neutralized once Albert moved to the front in the fourth of ten laps. The world champion got a small gap over Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) and Nys who, until that moment, didn’t mix in with the action up front.

In the chase of Albert it was Nys who worked hardest. Pauwels was on the limit and when diving into the sand quarry he hit a bump and went over the handlebars. In a battle of power and technical skills Nys came out ahead as he closed the gap of seven seconds on Albert by the end of the same fifth lap.

After two fast laps, two slower ones followed and van der Haar managed to bridge up with the two protagonists by the end of lap seven. The first chasers were Julien Taramarcaz (BMC), Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) and Pauwels at 18 seconds.

“We were matched to each other as we both had a gap which the other closed down. It was clear that the bell lap would bring the decision. It was a matter of being in the lead at the right moment which was just ahead of the uphill sand section. If I was leading and made a mistake then Albert would have to hop off as well,” Nys said.

What followed was the best bit of cyclo-cross in recent times. Albert managed to sneak through on the inside in the downhill section with deep sand ahead of the left-hand corner leading to the uphill sand section.

“He passed me where I didn’t expect it at all. I was forced off my bike. [...] I tried to put my bike ahead of him but I only got it next to him,” Nys said.

Albert somehow managed to continue riding up the small path on the right side of the course.

“I played all or nothing there. [...] It cracked and clamoured but eventually we both had to run up the hill. Then I was on my limit while Nys had something left in his tank to pass me. That was game over for me,” Albert said. “It’s not a shame to lose against Sven Nys. Too bad it happens quite a lot lately.”

Bart Aernouts was best of the rest, ahead of Pauwels, van der Haar and Taramarcaz.

After winning the first round in Ruddervoorde, Nys's lead in the Superprestige increased to two points over Albert. Pauwels is third at five points behind the Belgian champion.

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Full Results
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony1:01:53Row 0 - Cell 3
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:02Row 1 - Cell 3
3Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:00:12Row 2 - Cell 3
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:29Row 3 - Cell 3
5Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:00:42Row 4 - Cell 3
6Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:00:51Row 5 - Cell 3
7Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:16Row 6 - Cell 3
8Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:22Row 7 - Cell 3
9Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:06Row 8 - Cell 3
10Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:21Row 9 - Cell 3
11Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:29Row 10 - Cell 3
12Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:42Row 11 - Cell 3
13Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:02:44Row 12 - Cell 3
14Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept0:02:45Row 13 - Cell 3
15Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road TeamRow 14 - Cell 2 Row 14 - Cell 3
16Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea0:02:49Row 15 - Cell 3
17Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:55Row 16 - Cell 3
18Joeri Adams (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:03:04Row 17 - Cell 3
19Aurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube0:03:09Row 18 - Cell 3
20Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:03:24Row 19 - Cell 3
21Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:03:29Row 20 - Cell 3
22Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:04:20Row 21 - Cell 3
23Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:50Row 22 - Cell 3
24Jonathan Page (USA)0:05:34Row 23 - Cell 3
25Dave De Cleyn (Bel)Row 24 - Cell 2 Row 24 - Cell 3
26Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:06:18Row 25 - Cell 3
27Jimmy Tielens (Bel)Row 26 - Cell 2 -1lap
28Mariusz Gil (Pol) BabocoRow 27 - Cell 2 Row 27 - Cell 3
29Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - PowerplusRow 28 - Cell 2 -2laps
30Kevin Cant (Bel)Row 29 - Cell 2 Row 29 - Cell 3
31Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) 36CyclingRow 30 - Cell 2 -3laps
32Mitchell Huenders (Ned)Row 31 - Cell 2 -4laps
DNFArnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - FideaRow 32 - Cell 2 Row 32 - Cell 3
DNFVincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-EuphonyRow 33 - Cell 2 Row 33 - Cell 3
DNFJim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-RevorRow 34 - Cell 2 Row 34 - Cell 3
DNFChristoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-ShanksRow 35 - Cell 2 Row 35 - Cell 3
DNFLubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - PowerplusRow 36 - Cell 2 Row 36 - Cell 3
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Superprestige standings after two rounds
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony30pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus28Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor25Row 2 - Cell 3
4Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team20Row 3 - Cell 3
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team20Row 4 - Cell 3
6Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor19Row 5 - Cell 3
7Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea16Row 6 - Cell 3
8Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea14Row 7 - Cell 3
9Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team13Row 8 - Cell 3
10Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea11Row 9 - Cell 3
11Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus10Row 10 - Cell 3
12Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team9Row 11 - Cell 3
13Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus6Row 12 - Cell 3
14Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus5Row 13 - Cell 3
15Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor4Row 14 - Cell 3
16Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team4Row 15 - Cell 3
17Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL2Row 16 - Cell 3
18Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept2Row 17 - Cell 3
19Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony1Row 18 - Cell 3
20Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team1Row 19 - Cell 3

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