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Albert is king in Plzen mud

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World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus)

World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys checks to see who is chasing behind

Sven Nys checks to see who is chasing behind
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen in Plzen

Tom Meeusen in Plzen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Vantornout splashes through the mud in the pits

Vantornout splashes through the mud in the pits
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Klaas Vantornout gutted out a strong performance in Plzen

Klaas Vantornout gutted out a strong performance in Plzen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys gets a new bike at the exit from the pits

Sven Nys gets a new bike at the exit from the pits
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Pauwels and Nys top the staircase in the first lap

Pauwels and Nys top the staircase in the first lap
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The mud kept the mechanics busy with power washers

The mud kept the mechanics busy with power washers
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert put the hammer down in Plzen

Niels Albert put the hammer down in Plzen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The monster staircase early in the race

The monster staircase early in the race
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert gets a fresh bike

Niels Albert gets a fresh bike
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea)

Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys was in pain after his crash in Plzen

Sven Nys was in pain after his crash in Plzen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Klaas Vantornout, Niels Albert and Kevin Pauwels on the podium in Plzen

Klaas Vantornout, Niels Albert and Kevin Pauwels on the podium in Plzen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert pulls on the World Cup leader's jersey

Niels Albert pulls on the World Cup leader's jersey
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Rob Peeters is informed by the UCI commissaires that he was disqualfiied

Rob Peeters is informed by the UCI commissaires that he was disqualfiied
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) wins the World Cup in Plzen

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) wins the World Cup in Plzen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) wins the World Cup in Plzen

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) wins the World Cup in Plzen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) crashed and struggled in for sixth

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) crashed and struggled in for sixth
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) came across in third but was disqualified for a pit mishap

Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) came across in third but was disqualified for a pit mishap
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Klaas Vantornout used his strong running and mud-riding skills in Plzen

Klaas Vantornout used his strong running and mud-riding skills in Plzen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) put on a show of dominance in Plzen

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) put on a show of dominance in Plzen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) over the barriers in Plzen

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) over the barriers in Plzen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert wins in Plzen

Niels Albert wins in Plzen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels learns he's on the podium after the DQ of Peeters

Kevin Pauwels learns he's on the podium after the DQ of Peeters
(Image credit: Photopress.be)

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) won a muddy and cold edition of the second round of the World Cup in Plzen, in the Czech Republic, finish well clear of Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor), Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) and former World Cup leader Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor).

Peeters was removed from the official result after UCI commissaires spotted an irregular pit stop in the first half of the race. It didn’t matter much to world champion Albert, who looked unbeatable on the slippery course.

“I like this weather, when it’s raining and it’s muddy. Everybody rides on his own and that’s when I’m on my best. Hopefully it’s raining in Belgium too,” Albert said in the post-race interview.

“I’ve won here as a world champion in 2009 and now I win again in this jersey. The corners were really dangerous because you can make a mistake everywhere. You have to pay a lot of attention and use your technique.”

Unlike last years's World Cup race, the TV-camera was gone by the time the start was given but once again Albert wasn’t near the front when the race started. US champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) was even worse off, as he hit the deck in the first corner.

Albert managed to bridge up to the all-Belgian seven-man lead group by the end of the first lap. Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road) – the revelation of the first World Cup round – rode in the first chase group at 15 seconds.

Halfway into the second lap, Albert moved into the lead. Soon after, his pace distanced most riders except for Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony). But the pace also proved too high for the experienced Belgian and he crashed hard in a tricky descent early on in the third lap.

“I’m in a lot of pain. I was on the wrong track and didn’t click into the pedal with one foot. I landed on the top of my frame. Physically I didn’t suffer much today but the crash hurt a lot,” Nys told Sporza.

Albert rode alone in front from then on, with Pauwels the sole chaser by the end of the third lap. Nys slipped to sixth position, at more than half a minute from Albert. However Pauwels failed to close the gap on Albert and he was caught back by teammate Vantornout and at halfway through the race – after four out of eight laps – the Sunweb duo trailed Albert by 18 seconds.

From there Vantornout occasionally seemed able to take ground back on Albert but he was never able to reduce the gap inside of 10 seconds. Eventually Albert easily took the win. Behind him Vantornout sat up in the final metres in order to hand the World Cup points for second place to teammate Pauwels but he didn’t know that Pauwels had suffered a mechanical problem in the last lap. Francis Mourey (FDJ) was the first non-Belgian in Plzen in eighth place. 

There was little to celebrate for the US riders. After his first corner crash Powers didn’t make up enough ground to gain UCI points and he didn’t finish the sixth lap. By that time Timothy Johnson (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld.com) had also left the race, while riding at the back of the pack. Jonathan Page rode in the top-25 but faded in the second half of the race. He finished 32nd, 6:29 behind winner Niels Albert.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus1:08:26
2Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:36
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:45
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:00:54
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:09
6Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:01:31
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:02:14
8Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:02:45
9Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:02:58
10Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:03:04
11Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:03:12
12Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:21
13Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:27
14Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:03:45
15Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea0:03:50
16Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:03
17Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:04:15
18Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:04:22
19Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:04:28
20Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:04:44
21Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:52
22Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:05:01
23Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:05:07
24Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta - Fitness / Specialized0:05:18
25Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:05:19
26Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus
27Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco0:05:28
28Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 930:05:36
29Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks0:05:45
30Mitchell Huenders (Ned)0:05:57
31Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea0:06:08
32Jonathan Page (USA)0:06:29
33Jirí Polnický (Cze) Whirlpool - Author0:06:33
34Guillaume Perrot (Fra)0:06:45
35Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:06:55
36David Kášek (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:07:05
37Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de0:07:35
38Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea0:07:45
39Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:08:07
40 (-1 lap)Milan Barenyi (Svk)
41Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo
42Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite
43Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor
44Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda
45Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda
46Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole
47 (-2 laps)Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencín Trek
48Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)
49Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus
50 (-3 laps)Marco Bianco (Ita)
51Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica
52Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea

Standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus145pts
2Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor145
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor130
4Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea106
5Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony105
6Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team98
7Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team98
8Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea93
9Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-BigMat83
10Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team80
11Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team79
12Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus77
13Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team75
14Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus71
15Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team71
16Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team68
17Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite68
18Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team66
19Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team64
20Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor59
21Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea56
22Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus54
23Jirí Polnický (Cze) Whirlpool - Author52
24Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea51
25Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus48
26Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea45
27Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team44
28Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco42
29Guillaume Perrot (Fra)41
30Jonathan Page (USA)41
31Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole36
32Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized35
33Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor34
34Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus32
35Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks30
36Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus29
37Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta - Fitness / Specialized27
38David Kášek (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor26
39Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 9323
40Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda23
41Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo23
42Mitchell Huenders (Ned)21
43Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld21
44Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite21
45Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL17
46Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea17
47Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor15
48Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de14
49Milan Barenyi (Svk)12
50Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)12
51Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda11
52Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea10
53Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica6
54Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencín Trek4
55Lukas Winterberg (Swi) Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes3
56Marco Bianco (Ita)3

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