Sven Nys takes victory in Ruddervoorde Superprestige opener
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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sven Nys takes victory in Ruddervoorde Superprestige opener

by Ben Atkins at 12:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
Mister Superprestige finally fights off Niels Albert in the closing turns of a fast, dry race

sven nysSven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) reminded his rivals once again that he is “Mister Superprestige” with victory in the opening race of the 2012/13 series in Ruddervoorde, Belgium. After a long battle, the Belgian champion finally managed to escape the attentions of World champion Niels Albert (BCKP-Powerplus) in the last turns of the last of ten laps, and managed to hold off the younger rider in the dash for the line.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) took third place, having spent most of the second half of the race in lone pursuit, ahead of group led home by his teammate Klaas Vantornout.

Despite recent heavy rain, the Ruddervoorde ground proved fast, with no riders forced to change bikes during the race. The tight, twisty nature of the course however - as well as its long sandpit, meant that the early season power of Nys and Albert was able to tell as they split the pack apart.

During the first lap a nine-man group got clear, made up of Nys, Albert, Pauwels and Vantornout, Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), Lars van der Haar (Rabobank), Bart Aernouts and Thijs van Amerongen (both AA and Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus). Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) was leading the chase 15 seconds behind, but the race already looked to be decided between the riders in this front group.

Albert then accelerated, pulling Nys and van der Haar clear of the others. Nys and Albert exchanged the lead as van der Haar fought to hold onto the more experienced Belgians, while Pauwels was making strides to cross the gap behind them. Midway through the lap the young Dutchman lost contact again, and was caught and passed by Pauwels.

With five laps down, and five to go, Albert and Nys were ten seconds ahead of Pauwels and van der Haar, with Vantornout not far behind them. Shortly into the lap the chasing duo made contact, but Nys was not keen on the company and accelerated again, which finally saw van der Haar lose contact once and for all.

Pauwels too was having trouble holding onto the two leaders, and the Sunweb-Revor rider slipped back again after struggling across the sandpit. He was soon back with van der Haar and Vantornout, as Nys steadily turned the screw up front.

In the laps that followed, Nys continually applied the pressure, but the younger rider was able to claw his way back on each time. Each acceleration was putting more distance between them and the chasers however, as Meeusen pulled a group up to Pauwels and Vantornout.

Pauwels broke clear of the group again, but was 17 seconds behind the two leaders as Albert was taking his turn to try to crack Nys.

With two laps to go Pauwels was still 15 seconds behind the leading duo; this lap saw Nys’ big acceleration however, which saw the Belgian champion shake Albert again, and the gap was impossible for Pauwels to close.

A better crossing of the sand saw Albert fight his way back up to Nys and the two of them coasted across the line to take the bell together. Nys was in no mood to take Albert to a sprint though, and began to apply the pressure again, but wasn’t able to gap the World champion in the first half of the lap.

The final time through the sand couldn’t have been more different from the previous lap, as Nys opened a gap, but Albert forced it closed shortly afterwards. In the final grassy twists of the race however, Nys managed to open up a little daylight between himself and Albert and, keeping the power down, managed to hold off the World champion to take his tenth Ruddervoorde victory, and 56th in all Superprestige races.

Nikki Harris continues winning start in women's race

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) continued her excellent start to the season with victory in the women’s race. The British number two, in the absence of a number of the sport’s biggest names, took the lead in the very first lap of the race and managed to hold off the rest of the pack to take her second - and biggest - win of the season.

Harris’ Telenet-Fidea teammate Sophie de Boer managed to hold off a charge from Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) - who had suffered an early crash - to take second place.

Result Elite Men
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
2. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
4. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
5. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
6. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
7. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank
8. Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
9. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA
10. Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA

Result Elite Women
1. Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea
2. Sophie de Boer (Ned) Telenet-Fidea
3. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP
4. Arenda Grimberg (Ned) WV Het Stadion
5. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Kriekel Cycling Team Tessenderlo
6. Amy Dombroski (USA) Telenet-Fidea
7. Reza Mormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team
8. Kim Van De Steene (Bel) Afdeling Oost-Vlaanderen WBV-VZW
9. Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Cycling Team Vermeeren
10. Nancy Bober (Bel) Style and Concept Cycling Team


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