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Albert claims World Cup victory in Rome

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Niels Albert and Sven Nys on the podium

Niels Albert and Sven Nys on the podium
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Bart Wellens covered in mud

Bart Wellens covered in mud
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Elite men's podium: Lars van der Haar, Niels Albert, Sven Nys

Elite men's podium: Lars van der Haar, Niels Albert, Sven Nys
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert on his way to victory

Niels Albert on his way to victory
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Rob Peeters covered in mud

Rob Peeters covered in mud
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Elite men's podium: Lars van der Haar, Niels Albert, Sven Nys

Elite men's podium: Lars van der Haar, Niels Albert, Sven Nys
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Wietse Bosmans cleans up after the finish

Wietse Bosmans cleans up after the finish
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert wins the 'cross World Cup in Rome

Niels Albert wins the 'cross World Cup in Rome
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Lars van der Haar leads in Sven Nys across the line

Lars van der Haar leads in Sven Nys across the line
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels after the finish

Kevin Pauwels after the finish
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert looks back to check his advantage.

Niels Albert looks back to check his advantage.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Lars van der Haar as World Cup leader

Lars van der Haar as World Cup leader
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen

Tom Meeusen
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Rob Peeters

Rob Peeters
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Bart Wellens

Bart Wellens
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert on the podium

Niels Albert on the podium
(Image credit: Photopress.be)

An impressive solo ride from Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) in Rome, Italy, delivered him his second World Cup win of the season. In the sixth round of the World Cup, the 27-year-old Belgian left his last rivals behind in the third of eight laps.

Albert galloped through strong winds, a sudden heavy rain shower and then faced a late comeback from world champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink), World Cup leader Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) and French champion Francis Morey (FDJ.fr). Albert withstood all of it, keeping a small five seconds gap at the finish line in front of the grandstand of the somewhat desolated Capanelle hippodrome.

Van der Haar outsprinted Nys for second place, which sees the young Dutchman strengthen his overall lead in the World Cup as Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus), previously second, had an off-day and could only manage an eleventh place finish in Rome. Albert now holds second place, albeit a massive 54 points behind World Cup leader Van der Haar, ahead of the final round in Nommay, France, in three weeks’ time.

“It was a very hard one. The track was very muddy with the rain of last night and today. It was a hard race,” Albert said. In the closing laps, Albert struggled. “On Friday we did a hard training and I was tired. On the last two laps, everything was hurting. Sven [Nys] is not unbeatable. They were coming but I was consolidating my advantage. It was tricky with those small rocks on the course.”

During the first laps of the race, Albert was already dominant. He featured in the lead group that quickly separated itself from the rest of the pack. The group included Albert, his teammate Walsleben, Mourey and Martin Bina (Kwadro-Stannah), with Mourey quickly shifting back on the second lap.

Having Walsleben in front was disastrous for the World Cup leader Van der Haar as he was riding outside the top 10, half a minute down on the leaders. “I was nervous for a muddy race like this one and I started with a Typhoon profile at the back. I didn’t have a good start, didn’t get going and was sliding away everywhere,” Van der Haar told Sporza. Little later he switched bikes to get better grip. “It turned out I had good legs and I started moving up.”

The race turned when Albert put the hammer down early on in the third lap, and soon he was alone in front. He quickly created a gap of fifteen seconds on Bina and Walsleben, who were caught by Mourey. Halfway through the race, Walsleben waved goodbye to his World Cup ambitions as he was dropped, and one lap later, he was overtaken by Van der Haar. The number two in the World Cup continued to lose ground for the remainder of the race. “I started my race optimistically but ended up not being so good. I had a minor crash and setback. I felt like I was the only rider who was sliding away. Hopefully I feel better in Nommay so I can hold on to my third place in the World Cup,” Walsleben said.

With three laps to go Van der Haar caught up with Bina and Mourey, who were only about twenty seconds behind lone leader Albert, with Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink Cycling Team) and Sven Nys ten seconds further back.

Nys was clearly going well at this stage of the race. He dropped Van Amerongen and overtook fading Bina, and he suddenly caught up with Van der Haar halfway through the penultimate lap. When hitting the final lap, Albert only had 13 seconds in hand on Mourey, and just 17 seconds on Nys and Van der Haar. A rampant Nys soon caught Mourey, and the trio then set their sights on Albert. But the gap was too great even for the world champion, and Albert duly reached the finish line with a handful of seconds to spare over Van der Haar, who outsprinted Nys for second place.

“I tried to come back and that seemed to be working out but the race was one lap too short. Switching bikes was important. In the final laps I was riding around with a pressure of 1.2kg and that was ideal on a course that become more and more slippery. I had a lot of power to set the pace on the long straight sections. I’m satisfied even though I’m not winning,” Nys told Sporza.

Mourey settled for fourth place, well ahead of Bina. Meanwhile, Rob Peeters (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) recovered from a poor start to put in a solid ride that earned him a good sixth place, just ahead of Van Amerongen.

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) is struggling with illness and skipped the race in Rome in favour of a training camp in Calpe, Spain. He drops from third to fifth overall as both Albert and his teammate Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) overtook him on Sunday afternoon. Pauwels had a poor start and suffered a mechanical in the second lap of the race that saw him slip back to thirtieth position, but he gamely fought back to take thirteenth place at the finish line.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus1:06:33
2Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team0:00:04
3Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink0:00:05
4Francis Mourey (Fra) Fdj.Fr0:00:11
5Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro - Stannah0:00:41
6Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Continental Team0:00:45
7Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:00:50
8Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:01
9Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:01:16
10Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:19
11Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:32
12Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:35
13Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:01:45
14Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team0:01:53
15Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing0:02:08
16Sascha Weber (Ger) Veranclassic - Doltcini0:02:14
17Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti0:02:18
18Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:02:20
19Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet - Fidea
20Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:02:22
21Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team0:02:23
22Mirko Tabacchi (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Forestale0:02:36
23Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Odlo MTB Racing Team0:02:49
24Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Kwadro - Stannah0:03:09
25Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica0:03:16
26Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro - Stannah0:03:21
27Luca Braidot (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Forestale0:03:28
28Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott - Odlo MTB Racing Team0:03:36
29Simon Zahner (Swi) Ekz Racing Team0:03:37
30Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles0:03:38
31Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:03:43
32Kenneth Hansen (Den) Cannondale - Haderslev0:04:02
33Lukas Winterberg (Swi) MG - Cycling Team0:04:24
34Daniel Geismayr (Aut)0:04:26
35Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor0:04:31
36Micki Van Empel (Ned) Kdl Cycling Team0:04:50
37Andreas Moser (Swi) Zaunteam Mittelland0:04:54
38Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti0:05:00
39Steve Chainel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:05:13
40Christian Helmig (Lux)0:05:17
41Bryan Falaschi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti0:05:18
42Fabio Ursi (Ita) Cx Merida Team - Dama Drc0:05:34
43Emil Hekele (Cze) Stevens Bikes - Emilio Sport0:06:29
44Thomas Paccagnella (Ita) Sportivi Del Ponte0:06:33
45Christoph Ambroziak (Ger) Gunsha Racing Team0:06:46
46Mike Garrigan (Can) Van Dessel0:06:54
47Calle Friberg (Swe) Scott Sports0:06:59
-1lapJeremy Durrin (USA) Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies
-2lapsYannick Mayer (Ger) Team Baier Landshut
-2lapsRobert Glajza (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica

Elite men World Cup standings
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team407pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus353
3Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus344
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team313
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team279
6Francis Mourey (Fra) Fdj.Fr270
7Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team267
8Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan - AA Drink264
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team264
10Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace248
11Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro - Stannah237
12Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea229
13Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti218
14Corne Van Kessel (Ned) Telenet - Fidea209
15Niels Wubben (Ned) Telenet - Fidea199
16Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea198
17Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) Kwadro - Stannah197
18Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro - Stannah188
19Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott - Odlo MTB Racing Team185
20Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus163
21Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team161
22Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica160
23Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea148
24Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles148
25Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus142
26Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team129
27Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cez Cyklo Team Tabor123
28Sascha Weber (Ger) Veranclassic - Doltcini120
29Simon Zahner (Swi) Ekz Racing Team119
30Mariusz Gil (Pol) Kwadro - Stannah118
31Jonathan Page (USA) Fuji / Spy Optics108
32Fabien Canal (Fra)97
33Micki Van Empel (Ned) Kdl Cycling Team95
34Kenneth Hansen (Den) Cannondale - Haderslev82
35Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa) Lizarte81
36Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze) Johnson Controls As Ml. Bol.79
37Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hirumet Taldea76
38Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb - Napoleon Games Cycling Team70
39Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito68
40Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Team Natubalans - Apex66
41Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team65
42Robert Gavenda (Svk)63
43Arnaud Grand (Swi) Bmc Development Team55
44Lukas Winterberg (Swi) MG - Cycling Team52
45Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa) Specialized - Garmar44
46Steve Chainel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale37
47Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) Cannondale Factory Racing36
48Andreas Moser (Swi) Zaunteam Mittelland36
49Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra)35
50Yannick Mayer (Ger) Team Baier Landshut34
51Radomir Simunek (Cze) Kwadro - Stannah32
52Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls As Ml. Bol.30
53Mirko Tabacchi (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Forestale29
54Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Kalas Merida29
55Nicolas Bazin (Fra)25
56Ole Quast (Ger) Stevens Racing Team25
57Luca Braidot (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Forestale24
58Florian Vogel (Swi) Scott - Odlo MTB Racing Team23
59Michal Malik (Cze) Kc Kooperativa Sg Jablonec23
60Milan Barenyi (Svk) Trek KCK Oslany22
61Christian Helmig (Lux)22
62Jordy Luisman (Ned) Team Lemelerveld18
63Inigo Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer - Caravanos Erandio18
64Daniel Geismayr (Aut)17
65Joachim Parbo (Den) Cielo - Challenge - Bicyclista17
66Christoph Pfingsten (Ger)15
67Emil Hekele (Cze) Stevens Bikes - Emilio Sport15
68Christoph Ambroziak (Ger) Gunsha Racing Team15
69Michael (Jr) Schweizer (Ger) Stevens Racing Team14
70Ludovic Renard (Fra) Vs Chartrain14
71Marco Bianco (Ita) Carraro Team Trentino14
72Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti13
73Agustin Navarro Vidal (Spa) Ciudad De Oviedo - Nesta11
74Aaron Schooler (Can) H&R BloCK11
75Bryan Falaschi (Ita) Selle Italia Guerciotti10
76Jeremy Durrin (USA) Optum P/B Kelly Benefit Strategies10
77Jon Gomez Elorriaga (Spa) Bioracer - Caravanos Erandio10
78Angus Edmond (NZl) Stevens - Malteni10
79Fabio Ursi (Ita) Cx Merida Team - Dama Drc9
80Guillaume Perrot (Fra) Ec St Etienne - Loire9
81Yu Takenouchi (Jpn) Veranclassic - Doltcini8
82Thomas Paccagnella (Ita) Sportivi Del Ponte7
83Jan Nesvadba (Cze) Madeta Fitness / Specialized7
84Filip Adel (Cze) Kc Hlinsko6
85Mike Garrigan (Can) Van Dessel5
86Zach Mcdonald (USA) Rapha - Focus5
87Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) Stevens Racing Team5
88Calle Friberg (Swe) Scott Sports4
89Max Walsleben (Ger)4
90Fredrik Edin (Swe) Cykloteket Racing Team4
91Lukas Batora (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica2
92Robert Glajza (Svk) CK Banska Bystrica2
93Luc Lutsen (Fra) VC Toucy1
94Michel Vuelta Izquierdo (Spa) Nestor Martin1

 

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