Van der Haar sprints to victory at Zolder World Cup

An aggressive racing style and fast finish resulted in a well-deserved victory for Dutch champion Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) at the fifth World Cup round in Zolder, Belgium. Czechs Martin Bina (Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team) and Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) placed second and third respectively in the sprint finale from a 13-man lead group which fractured slightly in the last lap finale.

It's the third World Cup victory of the season for Van der Haar and the Dutch champion has moved into a comfortable overall lead as closest rivals Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) and Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) only managed a fourth and thirteenth place at the car racing circuit of Terlaemen. Van der Haar leads Walsleben by 33 points, while Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) moved into third at 279 points, 58 down on the Dutchman.

"What made the difference? Tactics," Van der Haar told Sporza. "The men's U23 race showed that it would be tactical. I just stayed in a good position constantly. We still have to do the rounds in Rome and Nommay but I will try to win it now. I'll try to do everything to take the World Cup home [at the final round] in Nommay."

The young Dutchman, only 22 years old, never rode outside of the top-5 throughout the race and often led the pack. With an average speed of 28.1 km/h it was hard to create gaps but due to the pace-setting work of Van der Haar it was nearly impossible for riders to get back to the front once dropped.

"It was possible to finish on the podium today, but also to finish tenth" said Vantornout. "This isn't ‘cross but a criterium." Vantornout consistently rode in the top-5 as well but in contrast to his usual racing style avoided the lead. In the final sprint he lost some spots and finished seventh.

The usual protagonists Sven Nys (Crelan-KDL) and Niels Albert never made it into the top-5. Albert's race was ruined when he took the inside line at the first corner - 180 degrees around a pole - and crashed. Now nearly in last place just moments after the start, Albert tried a comeback like the one Nys did in Namur in Sunday. He clocked very consistent sub-seven minute lap times and eventually bridged up to the lead group at the end of the penultimate lap. Making up positions in that lead group proved impossible, however, and a frustrated Albert rolled across the line 29 seconds down on winner Van der Haar.

Nys, the defending champion at the Heusden-Zolder World Cup race, also had a lackluster start and took half the race to reach the leaders. Once there the world champion lacked the punch to move up in the large lead group, hitting the final lap in seventh place. In the sprint he passed Vantornout to grab an anonymous sixth place result

Czech champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) made the best of his short cyclo-cross season and frequently shared the hard pacing-making work with Van der Haar. At the often decisive uphill off-camber zone Stybar took the lead on the final lap but Van der Haar passed him again when approaching the difficult run-up sector. That's where the race was decided in a split second very close to the finish line.

"I knew I had to be in a good position at the stairs and did everything for that," Van der Haar said. The Dutchman was quick to re-mount after the stair sector and opened an ever so slight gap on Stybar, who fumbled with his pedals.

Stybar blamed his rusty technical skills for his defeat. "I often lost time in the corners. After the stairs I didn't get into my pedals and Van der Haar got a gap of 10-20 metres. Bina passed me, too, and that was it," Stybar said.

Bina reached Van der Haar before the final corner but had no answer for Van der Haar's fast finish after making the right turn onto the asphalt finishing straight. In the sprint the diminutive Dutchman comfortably won ahead of Bina, Stybar and Walsleben.

Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) was the best Belgian in fifth place. "I've never been the best Belgian in a World Cup. I could cry out of happiness. A few times I was lucky that I was piloted back to the front on the wheel of Stybar," Peeters said.

Most top riders will race on Friday in Loenhout, except for Van der Haar. The Dutchman has opted not to pack his program with races during the Christmas week in order to remain fresh for the championships in the following weeks. His next races are Diegem, Surhuisterveen and then the next World Cup round in Rome on January 5 of the new year.

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Full Results
1Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team1:02:41
2Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:00:01
3Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-QuickStep0:00:02
4Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:03
5Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:04
6Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:00:05
8Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:00:07
9Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:10
10Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:12
11Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:00:15
12Michael Wildhaber (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team0:00:27
13Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:00:29
14Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:00:49
15Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team0:01:12
16Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:13
17Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) Team Natubalans-Apex0:01:17
18Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:01:21
19Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:01:22
20Arnaud Grand (Swi) BMC Development Team0:01:23
21Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:01:24
22Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:01:26
23Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti0:01:31
24Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tabor0:01:32
25Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica0:01:34
26Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 25 - Cell 2
27Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:01:51
28Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team0:02:06
29Javier Ruiz de Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa) MMR Spiuk0:02:18
30Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa) Specialized-Garmar0:02:33
31Micki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team0:02:48
32Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:03
33Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:03:15
34Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencin Trek0:03:29
35Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist0:03:30
36Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks0:03:44
37Michael Schweizer (Ger) Stevens Racing TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze) Johnsons Controls AS Mlada Boleslav0:04:00
39Kenneth Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Haderslev0:04:54
40Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange-Losch0:05:07
41Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team0:05:09
42Agustin Navarro Vidal (Spa) Ciudad de Oviedo-Nesta0:05:15
43Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block0:05:47
44Jeremy Durrin (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:06:08
45Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team Baier Landshut0:06:10
46Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha-Focus0:06:12
47Max Walsleben (Ger) Nutrixxion Abus0:06:34
48Joachim Parbo (Den) Cielo-Challenge-Bicyclista0:06:36
49Christoph Ambroziak (Ger) Gunsha Racing Team0:06:45
50Robert Glajza (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica0:07:36
51Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa)-1lap
52Angus Edmond (NZl) Stevens-MalteniRow 51 - Cell 2
53Alexander Revell (NZl) PNP Cycling Club-3laps
54Michel Vuelta Izquierdo (Spa) Nestor Martin-5laps
DNFRadomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
DNFCorne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
DNFIvan Jovanovic (Srb) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
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World Cup standings after five rounds
1Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team337pts
2Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus304Row 1 - Cell 3
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team279Row 2 - Cell 3
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team275Row 3 - Cell 3
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team273Row 4 - Cell 3
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team227Row 5 - Cell 3
7Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team219Row 6 - Cell 3
8Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ.fr210Row 7 - Cell 3
9Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team199Row 8 - Cell 3
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team198Row 9 - Cell 3
11Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti184Row 10 - Cell 3
12Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team183Row 11 - Cell 3
13Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team182Row 12 - Cell 3
14Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team170Row 13 - Cell 3
15Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team167Row 14 - Cell 3
16Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team167Row 15 - Cell 3
17Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team165Row 16 - Cell 3
18Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team163Row 17 - Cell 3
19Michael Wildhaber (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team157Row 18 - Cell 3
20Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team142Row 19 - Cell 3
21Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica134Row 20 - Cell 3
22Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team128Row 21 - Cell 3
23Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized127Row 22 - Cell 3
24Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team124Row 23 - Cell 3
25Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team118Row 24 - Cell 3
26Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team109Row 25 - Cell 3
27Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist108Row 26 - Cell 3
28Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tabor107Row 27 - Cell 3
29Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team106Row 28 - Cell 3
30Fabien Canal (Fra) ASPTT Definitive Tec97Row 29 - Cell 3
31Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team97Row 30 - Cell 3
32Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange-Losch85Row 31 - Cell 3
33Javier Ruiz de Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa) MMR Spiuk81Row 32 - Cell 3
34Micki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team80Row 33 - Cell 3
35Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze) Johnsons Controls AS Mlada Boleslav79Row 34 - Cell 3
36Egoitz Murgoitio (Spa) Grupo Hirumet Taldea76Row 35 - Cell 3
37Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito68Row 36 - Cell 3
38Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) Team Natubalans-Apex66Row 37 - Cell 3
39Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-QuickStep65Row 38 - Cell 3
40Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencin Trek63Row 39 - Cell 3
41Kenneth Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Haderslev63Row 40 - Cell 3
42Arnaud Grand (Swi) BMC Development Team55Row 41 - Cell 3
43Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa) Specialized-Garmar44Row 42 - Cell 3
44Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team40Row 43 - Cell 3
45Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team35Row 44 - Cell 3
46Lukas Winterberg (Swi) MG Cycling Team34Row 45 - Cell 3
47Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team32Row 46 - Cell 3
48Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team Baier Landshut32Row 47 - Cell 3
49Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnsons Controls AS Mlada Boleslav30Row 48 - Cell 3
50Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Kalas Merida29Row 49 - Cell 3
51Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale25Row 50 - Cell 3
52Nicolas Bazin (Fra) BigMat-Auber 9325Row 51 - Cell 3
53Ole Quast (Ger) Stevens Racing Team25Row 52 - Cell 3
54Michal Malik (Cze) KC Kooperativa SG Jablonec23Row 53 - Cell 3
55Andreas Moser (Swi) Zaunteam Mittelland22Row 54 - Cell 3
56Milan Barenyi (Svk) Trek KCK Oslany22Row 55 - Cell 3
57Jordy Luisman (Ned) Team Lemelerveld18Row 56 - Cell 3
58Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio18Row 57 - Cell 3
59Joachim Parbo (Den) Cielo-Challenge-Bicyclista17Row 58 - Cell 3
60Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks15Row 59 - Cell 3
61Michael Schweizer (Ger) Stevens Racing Team14Row 60 - Cell 3
62Ludovic Renard (Fra) VS Chartrain14Row 61 - Cell 3
63Marco Bianco (Ita) Carraro Team Trentino14Row 62 - Cell 3
64Agustin Navarro Vidal (Spa) Ciudad de Oviedo-Nesta11Row 63 - Cell 3
65Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block11Row 64 - Cell 3
66Christian Helmig (Lux) Team Differdange-Losch11Row 65 - Cell 3
67Jon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio10Row 66 - Cell 3
68Angus Edmond (NZl) Stevens-Malteni10Row 67 - Cell 3
69Guillaume Perrot (Fra) EC St Etienne-Loire9Row 68 - Cell 3
70Christoph Ambroziak (Ger) Gunsha Racing Team9Row 69 - Cell 3
71Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Colba-Superano Ham8Row 70 - Cell 3
72Jeremy Durrin (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies7Row 71 - Cell 3
73Emil Hekele (Cze)7Row 72 - Cell 3
74Jan Nesvadba (Cze) Madeta Fitness-Specialized7Row 73 - Cell 3
75Filip Adel (Cze) KC Hlinsko6Row 74 - Cell 3
76Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha-Focus5Row 75 - Cell 3
77Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) Stevens Racing Team5Row 76 - Cell 3
78Max Walsleben (Ger) Nutrixxion Abus4Row 77 - Cell 3
79Fredrik Edin (Swe) Cykloteket Racing Team4Row 78 - Cell 3
80Lukas Batora (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica2Row 79 - Cell 3
81Robert Glajza (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica1Row 80 - Cell 3
82Luc Lutsen (Fra) VC Toucy1Row 81 - Cell 3
83Michel Vuelta Izquierdo (Spa) Nestor Martin1Row 82 - Cell 3

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