Albert takes fourth World Cup win of season

World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) soloed to victory in the last round of the World Cup in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. Despite his rib injury the Belgian was able to hold off Telenet-Fidea teammates Zdenek Stybar and Kevin Pauwels on the slippery course. The second place finish for Stybar - not contested by teammate Pauwels - was enough to finish four points ahead of Albert in the overall classification of the World Cup.

Albert had a terrible start and ended up riding in the pinball game in the middle of the bunch, together with US champion Timothy Johnson ( The world champion recovered well and started moving up towards a lead group of six riders that featured Sven Nys, Zdenek Stybar, Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank), Erwin Vervecken (Baboco-Revor) and a surprisingly strong Jonathan Page (Planet Bike).

During the fourth lap Albert joined the leaders where Nys and Stybar were setting the pace. Albert then powered to the lead and never eased off. Only Nys was able to keep up with the world champion but one lap later Nys clearly blew his engine and the Belgian champion opted to let Albert ride away. "I did what I could but it wasn't possible to go any faster," Nys told Sporza after the race.

Albert was eventually brought back but one lap later he accelerated again and this time got away with Stybar, the World Cup leader, and his Belgian teammate Pauwels. If Albert won the race Stybar needed to finish second to defend his World Cup lead and the presence of Stybar's teammate Pauwels was the ideal scenario for the Czech champion.

During the last lap Stybar and Albert dueled at the head of the race, hitting corners shoulder-to-shoulder. A minor mistake from Stybar was enough for Albert to create the decisive gap and grab his fourth World Cup win of the season. After the race Albert explained that he was able to start the race without stress. "After Roubaix I was disappointed on how I lost the World Cup. I enjoyed the training week in Spain and had no stress entering this race. I went full gas all race long because I wanted to have good sensations after this race," Albert told Sporza.

Crossing the finish line in second place, Stybar raised his hands in the air, too, as he was certain of the overall win in the World Cup. The Czech champion thanked his teammate Pauwels for his presence and help in front, which allowed Stybar to grab the World Cup title. "It was a really hard race for me but I'm really glad I could keep the jersey. I made a lot of mistakes but had to finish second if Albert won; Pauwels will receive a bottle of champagne," Stybar told Sporza.

Behind the top-three, Klaas Vantornout added another strong performance to his long list by finishing fourth, 42 seconds behind Albert. A group of four riders battled for fifth place with Nys besting Vervecken, De Knegt and Page.

All other US and UK-riders fell far off the top-10. US champion Timothy Johnson finished 32nd while his teammates Jamey Driscoll and Jeremy Powers crossed the line in 40th and 51st place. Troy Wells and Ryan Trebon had a terrible start and neither finished the race. UK riders Jody Crawforth, Ian Field and Paul Oldham finished 45th, 48th and 49th.

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Full results
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus1:02:37
2Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet - Fidea0:00:07
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet - FideaRow 2 - Cell 2
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor0:00:42
5Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:49
6Erwin Vervecken (Belgium)0:00:52
7Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank0:00:55
8Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:01:06
9Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank0:01:22
10Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:29
11Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb - Revor0:01:30
12Martin Zlamalik (Czech Republic)0:01:31
13Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Bkcp - Powerplus0:01:32
14Christian Heule (Switzerland)0:01:34
15Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet - Fidea0:01:35
16Nicolas Bazin (France)0:01:47
17Francis Mourey (Fra) Française Des Jeux0:02:00
18Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:09
19John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale0:02:14
20Lukas Flückiger (Switzerland)0:02:22
21Thijs Van Amerongen (Netherlands)0:02:28
22Marco Aurelio Fontana (Italy)0:02:41
23Bart Wellens (Be) Telenet - Fidea0:03:00
24Martin Bina (Czech Republic)0:03:10
25Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom0:03:31
26Thijs Al (Netherlands)0:03:40
27Wilant Van Gils (Netherlands)0:03:46
28Marco Bianco (Italy)0:03:52
29Marcel Wildhaber (Switzerland)0:03:53
30Mariusz Gil (Poland)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Jérome Chevallier (France)0:03:57
32Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com0:03:59
33David Derepas (France)0:04:00
34Laurent Colombatto (France)0:04:04
35Magnus Darvell (Sweden)0:04:09
36Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Van Vliet Ebh Elshof0:04:19
37Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) Continental Team Differdange0:04:34
38Kamil Ausbuher (Czech Republic)0:04:38
39Bram Schmitz (Ned) Van Vliet Ebh Elshof0:04:39
40James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.comRow 39 - Cell 2
41Fabio Ursi (Italy)0:04:49
42Luca Damiani (Ita) Kenda Presented By Gear Grinder0:04:57
43Joachim Parbo (Denmark)0:05:05
44Patrick Van Leeuwen (Netherlands)0:05:09
45Jody Crawforth (Great Britain)0:05:12
46Johannes Sickmueller (Germany)0:05:17
47Keiichi Tsujiura (Japan)0:05:35
48Ian Field (Great Britain)0:05:51
49Paul Oldham (Great Britain)0:05:55
50Ivar Hartogs (Netherlands)0:06:29
51Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com0:06:38
52Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Netherlands)0:06:48
53René Lang (Switzerland)0:07:18
54Andreas Moser (Switzerland)0:07:30
55 -1lapMike Garrigan (Canada)Row 54 - Cell 2
56Gusty Bausch (Luxembourg)Row 55 - Cell 2
57 -2lapsPeter Presslauer (Austria)Row 56 - Cell 2
58 -3lapsErik Box (Canada)Row 57 - Cell 2
59 -4lapsAriunbold Naranbat (Mongolia)Row 58 - Cell 2
60Boldbaatar Bold-Erdene (Mongolia)Row 59 - Cell 2

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