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Van der Haar sprints to victory at Zolder World Cup

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Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) remains in the World Cup leader's jersey after the fifth round

Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) remains in the World Cup leader's jersey after the fifth round
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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US 'cross champion Jonathan Page (Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist) in action at the World Cup round in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium

US 'cross champion Jonathan Page (Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist) in action at the World Cup round in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) considered the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round more criterium than 'cross race.

Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) considered the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round more criterium than 'cross race.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) spent much of the race chasing back to the leaders at Heusden-Zolder after crashing very early on the opening lap.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) spent much of the race chasing back to the leaders at Heusden-Zolder after crashing very early on the opening lap.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Czech champion Zdenek Stybar congratulates Heusden-Zolder World Cup winner Lars van der Haar as the Dutchman steps onto the podium

Czech champion Zdenek Stybar congratulates Heusden-Zolder World Cup winner Lars van der Haar as the Dutchman steps onto the podium
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) after his 8th place finish at the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) after his 8th place finish at the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Dutch champion Lars van der Haar on the top step of the podium at the Heusden-Zolder round of the 'cross World Cup.

Dutch champion Lars van der Haar on the top step of the podium at the Heusden-Zolder round of the 'cross World Cup.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Czech champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) proved he's still a force to be reckoned with on a 'cross bike as he rides to a 3rd place finish at the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round.

Czech champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) proved he's still a force to be reckoned with on a 'cross bike as he rides to a 3rd place finish at the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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After crashing early on the opening lap, Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) eventually chased back to the lead group on the penultimate lap at Heusden-Zolder

After crashing early on the opening lap, Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) eventually chased back to the lead group on the penultimate lap at Heusden-Zolder
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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The elite men's World Cup race at Heusden-Zolder, Belgium has begun!

The elite men's World Cup race at Heusden-Zolder, Belgium has begun!
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys was the defending champion for the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round but could only manage a 6th place result this time.

Sven Nys was the defending champion for the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round but could only manage a 6th place result this time.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World Cup leader Lars van der Haar sets the pace on a lightning-fast parcours at the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round.

World Cup leader Lars van der Haar sets the pace on a lightning-fast parcours at the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World Cup leader Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) rode consistently at the front of the race en route to his third World Cup victory of the season

World Cup leader Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) rode consistently at the front of the race en route to his third World Cup victory of the season
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) celebrates victory at round five of the 'cross World Cup in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium

Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) celebrates victory at round five of the 'cross World Cup in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Elite men's podium at Heusden-Zolder round of 'cross World Cup (L-R): Martin Bina, Lars van der Haar and Zdenek Stybar

Elite men's podium at Heusden-Zolder round of 'cross World Cup (L-R): Martin Bina, Lars van der Haar and Zdenek Stybar
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World Cup leader Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) wins his third World Cup race of the season at Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.

World Cup leader Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) wins his third World Cup race of the season at Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)

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.

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 Team
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 Mondiale
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 Team
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-Malteni
53Alexander Revell (NZl) PNP Cycling Club-3laps
54Michel Vuelta Izquierdo (Spa) Nestor Martin-5laps
DNFRadomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
DNFCorne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team
DNFIvan Jovanovic (Srb) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team

World Cup standings after five rounds
1Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team337pts
2Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus304
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team279
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team275
5Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team273
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team227
7Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team219
8Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ.fr210
9Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL Cycling Team199
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team198
11Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti184
12Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team183
13Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team182
14Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team170
15Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team167
16Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team167
17Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team165
18Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team163
19Michael Wildhaber (Swi) Scott Swisspower MTB Racing Team157
20Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team142
21Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica134
22Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team128
23Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized127
24Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team124
25Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team118
26Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team109
27Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist108
28Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tabor107
29Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team106
30Fabien Canal (Fra) ASPTT Definitive Tec97
31Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team97
32Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange-Losch85
33Javier Ruiz de Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa) MMR Spiuk81
34Micki Van Empel (Ned) Crelan KDL Cycling Team80
35Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze) Johnsons Controls AS Mlada Boleslav79
36Egoitz Murgoitio (Spa) Grupo Hirumet Taldea76
37Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito68
38Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) Team Natubalans-Apex66
39Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-QuickStep65
40Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencin Trek63
41Kenneth Hansen (Den) Cannondale-Haderslev63
42Arnaud Grand (Swi) BMC Development Team55
43Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa) Specialized-Garmar44
44Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team40
45Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team35
46Lukas Winterberg (Swi) MG Cycling Team34
47Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team32
48Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team Baier Landshut32
49Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnsons Controls AS Mlada Boleslav30
50Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Kalas Merida29
51Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale25
52Nicolas Bazin (Fra) BigMat-Auber 9325
53Ole Quast (Ger) Stevens Racing Team25
54Michal Malik (Cze) KC Kooperativa SG Jablonec23
55Andreas Moser (Swi) Zaunteam Mittelland22
56Milan Barenyi (Svk) Trek KCK Oslany22
57Jordy Luisman (Ned) Team Lemelerveld18
58Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio18
59Joachim Parbo (Den) Cielo-Challenge-Bicyclista17
60Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks15
61Michael Schweizer (Ger) Stevens Racing Team14
62Ludovic Renard (Fra) VS Chartrain14
63Marco Bianco (Ita) Carraro Team Trentino14
64Agustin Navarro Vidal (Spa) Ciudad de Oviedo-Nesta11
65Aaron Schooler (Can) Team H&R Block11
66Christian Helmig (Lux) Team Differdange-Losch11
67Jon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer-Caravanos Erandio10
68Angus Edmond (NZl) Stevens-Malteni10
69Guillaume Perrot (Fra) EC St Etienne-Loire9
70Christoph Ambroziak (Ger) Gunsha Racing Team9
71Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Colba-Superano Ham8
72Jeremy Durrin (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies7
73Emil Hekele (Cze)7
74Jan Nesvadba (Cze) Madeta Fitness-Specialized7
75Filip Adel (Cze) KC Hlinsko6
76Zach McDonald (USA) Rapha-Focus5
77Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) Stevens Racing Team5
78Max Walsleben (Ger) Nutrixxion Abus4
79Fredrik Edin (Swe) Cykloteket Racing Team4
80Lukas Batora (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica2
81Robert Glajza (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica1
82Luc Lutsen (Fra) VC Toucy1
83Michel Vuelta Izquierdo (Spa) Nestor Martin1

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