Sven Nys takes a tough, muddy Vlaamse Druivenveldrit Overijse
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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sven Nys takes a tough, muddy Vlaamse Druivenveldrit Overijse

by Ben Atkins at 10:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
Belgian champion rides clear on slippery course; Katie Compton completes perfect weekend

sven nysSven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) rode clear of the field to take his fifth edition of the Vlaamse Druivenveldrit, in Overijse, to the south east of Brussels. The Belgian champion managed to put the disappointment of the previous day’s defeat behind him as he escaped breakaway companion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) with just over half of the six lap race covered, and managed to hold off the chase from World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) all the way to the finish.

Albert managed to catch and pass Vantornout, but was unable to make any ground on Nys, and the World champion had to be content with second; Vantornout took his third straight third place, in what is arguably the toughest race of the season.

The conditions couldn’t have been more different from those experienced in Antwerp, for the Scheldecross, the previous day, with heavy rain rendering one of the toughest courses in the sport even more difficult. Sticky mud throughout most of the course made its many, technical descents treacherous, while those climbs that riders were forced to run up were very slippery underfoot.

Team Albert takes the early initiative but Nys soon powers through

Radomir Simunek and Marcel Meisen (both BKCP-Powerplus), and Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink) were the first out of the blocks and pulled away in the first part of the first lap. Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) soon managed to bridge across to the trio, with Nys leading the big bunch behind them.

Throughout the course of the lap Albert managed to get around Nys and managed to close the gap; the Belgian champion was not far behind, with Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) in tow, and they too managed to join the rear of the group before the end of the lap. Across the line for the first time, the seven-man group was a dozen seconds clear of the next group, led by Bart Aernouts (AA Drink).

Vantornout struck out ahead of the rest in the tough, early wooded section of lap two, with van Amerongen and Albert chasing close behind him. Nys was next, with Meisen behind him, but the Belgian champion soon left the German behind as he powered across the gap. A bad start for Vantornout’s Sunweb-Revor captain Kevin Pauwels - the previous day’s winner - had left him way back in the back, however.

Across the line at the end of lap two Albert was up with Vantornout, but there were just nine seconds separating the top five; Peeters was just a few seconds behind in sixth place, but Pauwels was in a group that was already more than half a minute behind.

Nys and van Amerongen were soon up with the two leaders, but then Albert slipped off on the outside of a corner; once back up the World champion seemed to be having problems with a pedal and began to drift backwards. Vantornout accelerated again, and only Nys could follow; both dropped riders changed their bikes shortly afterwards and, with Albert’s equipment now working properly, set about rejoining the two leaders.

The chasing pair was making little progress on the leading one however and, as the leaders entered the woods, Nys passed Vantornout as the Sunweb-Revor rider stumbled a little in shouldering his bike; the Belgian champion then accelerated away and Vantornout had no answer.

Albert leaves the rest of the chasers behind but can’t close in on Nys

Meanwhile, behind the two leaders, Albert left van Amerongen behind and was closing in on Vantornout. Shortly after crossing the line with three laps to go, the World champion caught up, and passed the Sunweb-Revor rider, but Nys was now well clear. Despite the best efforts of Albert, Nys was still 11 seconds clear as he began the penultimate lap, with Vantornout doggedly chasing a few seconds further back.

Van Amerongen was still in fourth place, but was now more than a minute behind.

With both riders allowing their back wheels to slide on a slippery zigzag descent, Nys was gradually pulling further clear of Albert. Vantornout was still there, but van Amerongen also found his front wheel sliding away on the same spot, bringing him down and widening the gap up to the top three even further.

As they passed the pits in the second half of the lap, Nys and Albert were 19 seconds apart but, at the bell, Albert had managed to close this a little. Vantornout was more than half a minute behind, and was racing for third, but would meet little challenge for this with van Amerongen so far behind.

Despite slipping a little, and having to lean against the fans and advertising at the side of the course, Nys chipped another few seconds ahead, as Albert was also looking a little unsteady behind him. Behind them, Vantornout slipped off on a corner, offering a small chance to van Amerongen, but was quickly back up and running before the Dutchman could get close.

Taking one last clean bike from the pits, Nys completed the rest of the lap almost flawlessly, and rode into the finish alone to take his third straight - and fifth career - edition of the toughest of all the races.

Albert rolled in almost half a minute later, followed after another 20 seconds by Vantornout; Amerongen was now under pressure from French champion Aurelien Duval and Meisen, but managed to hold them off to take fourth.

Katie Compton completes a perfect winning weekend in women’s race

Katie Compton (Trek) followed her Scheldecross win the previous day with victory for the second straight year in an equally tough women’s Druivenveldrit. The US champion once again finished clear of Briton Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea), with Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) in third, in an identical podium to the previous day.

Having started the race well, Compton began to pull away from the field in the opening lap, with Harris able to follow for only the early wooded section. By the time she crossed the line to start the second lap the US champion was several seconds clear of the British rider, which was to steadily increase.

Compton suffered a brief scare when she slid off in the woods - in a similar spot to where Niels Albert would come down in the men’s race later on - but her advantage over Harris was sufficient for her to hold on and win by more than 30 seconds.

Cant came in third, more than a minute back, ahead of Ellen van Loy (Melbotech) and American Amy Dombroski (Telenet-Fidea) fifth.

Result Elite Men
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
2. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
3. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
4. Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink
5. Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus
6. Aurellien Duval (Fra) UV Aube
7. Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony
8. Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style&Concept Cycling Team
9. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
10. Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea

Result Elite Women
1. Katie Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective
2. Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea
3. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP
4. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Melbotech Cycling Team
5. Amy Dombrowski (USA) Telenet-Fidea
6. Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Cycling Team Vermeeren
7. Nancy Bober (Bel) Style&Concept Cycling Team
8. Karen Verhestraeten (Bel)
9. Hilde Quintens (Bel) Melbotech Cycling Team
10. Githa Michiels (Bel)


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