Albert sews up Bpost Bank Trophy with Oostmalle victory
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Albert sews up Bpost Bank Trophy with Oostmalle victory

by Kyle Moore at 12:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
Takes the former GvA series, adding to World Cup victory in a banner season

Niels AlbertNiels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) soloed to victory in the Sluitingsprijs-Oostmalle on Sunday, grabbing the final cyclocross event of the season. The Oostmalle race was the final round of the Bpost Bank Trophy, which Albert finished off by a wide margin. The series was judged on accumulated time, and Albert finished seven minutes, 53 seconds ahead of runner-up Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) was third, at 10’42”.

Albert adds the Bpost Bank Trophy win to the World Cup title he won already this season, by scoring 540 points to runner-up Pauwels’ 515.

On Sunday, Albert was 16 seconds quicker than Vantornout on the Oostmalle course, an event that Albert also won last year. The third member of Sunweb-Napoleon Games, Jim Aernouts, rounded out the podium with a solid third place. Radomir Simunek (Kwadro-Stannah) was fourth, and Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus) was fifth.

Looking to seal the win early, Albert attacked on the second lap and got away, with four men chasing. Vantornout, Pauwels, Jim Aernouts and Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) tried to keep Albert close, although their numbers began to dwindle over time. Bart Aernouts suffered from mechanical trouble and Pauwels would later crash, taking out most of his pent-up frustrations from a rough season on his bike after going down.

This left just Vantornout and Jim Aernouts to settle out the podium. After announcing that he would continue in the sport for the near future, world champion and Superprestige series winner Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) managed only ninth.

After taking the comfortable win, Albert stated that he felt quite at home on the Oostmalle course. “As a young whippersnapper, Oostmalle was one of the first victories I got in my career,” Albert elaborated to Sporza after the race. “The course suits me well and I can always compete for the victory. It’s nice when you’re kind of on vacation and you can leave [your last race] feeling like you still are.”

Though he ended up victorious in two of the three cyclocross series, Albert expressed a tinge of regret that he didn’t get more individual wins, most notably the Belgian and World Championships.

“In the beginning of the year, I was bumped out by a very strong Sven,” he continued. “I was often with him at the finish, but eight or nine times I finished in second place, because Nys is so explosive. In the period around Christmas and New Years, I was second to Klaas Vantornout, who was very strong in the Belgian championships. Eventually though, I did find a few nice wins, so I am happy.

“It’s not so good if you don’t win a [Belgian or rainbow] jersey. That gives a bit more merit to your season, I must be honest about that. But I won two standings and raced most of the year with the rainbow jersey, so it was beautiful.”

Bpost Bank Trophy Oostmalle – Brief Results:

1 Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) in 1hr00'27"
2 Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) at 16s
3 Jim Aernouts (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) at 23s
4 Radomir Simunek (Kwadro-Stannah) at 31s
5 Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus) at 31s
6 Phlipp Walseben (BKCP-Powerplus) at 34s
7 Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) at 39s
8 Thijs Al (Telenet-Fidea) at 46s
9 Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) at 1'01”
10 Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) at 1'15”

Bpost Bank Trophy Final Standings:

1 Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) in 7hr49'53”
2 Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) at 7'53"
3 Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) at 10'42"
4 Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) at 10'54"
5 Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) at 12'48"
6 Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) 12'56"
7 Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink) at 14'37"
8 Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) at 16'43"
9 Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept) at 20'42"
10 Philipp Walseben (BKCP-Powerplus) at 20'50"


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