Sven Nys takes second win in two days with Superprestige Gavere victory
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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sven Nys takes second win in two days with Superprestige Gavere victory

by Ben Atkins at 10:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Fall Classics, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
 
Sanne Cant overcomes the British challenge to also go two from two

sven nysSven Nys (Crelan-KDL) yet again emphasised his status as “Mister Superprestige” with a hard-fought victory in the Aspere-Gavere race, which capped a perfect weekend for the World champion. Fresh from his Bpost Bank Trofee victory in Hasselt the day before, Nys recovered from another indifferent start to chase up to the leading group, then leave all but German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) behind.

Despite accelerations from both riders in the final lap, as well as a badly timed minor-mechanical for Walsleben, nothing could separate the two leading riders, and they arrived at the finishing straight together. Just as he had done the day before though, Nys sprinted into the final corner and, once ahead, there was nothing that a crestfallen Walsleben could do to stop him taking his 62nd career victory in the Superprestige series.

Having been one of the most aggressive riders in the first half of the race, Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) took third place, just ahead of Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea).

Having missed the previous day’s Bpost Bank Trofee race, in Hasselt, a fresh-legged Lars van der Haar (Rabobank) was the first away and - along with Marcel Meisen (Kwadro-Stannah) - took an early lead on the first lap.

Vantornout managed to chase down the Netherlands champion, then broke clear himself, as the Belgian champion accelerated clear on lap two. The notoriously tough Gavere course was taking its toll on the bikes as well as the riders at this point, as both Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) suffered from broken rear derailleurs.

Walsleben managed to chase across to Vantornout, and was soon followed by van der Haar and Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus). Albert struggled down a steep, slippery descent, however, lost his back wheel, and slid to a stop with his front wheel the wrong side of a fence post. This saw the former World champion lose the front group, and he was quickly caught by Nys

The current World champion then pushed on, leaving Albert behind, as Vantornout sought to escape the other two in the leading group. Despite the best efforts of the Belgian champion, Nys soon caught up, along with Telenet-Fidea duo Peeters and Tom Meeusen, to take the front group up to six.

Walsleben then accelerated again, just as Peeters was losing his balance on a slippery drag, and the German champion moved clear. Only Vantornout had been ahead of Peeters at the time, quickly joining up with Walsleben, and the two of them were clear of the others once again.

Vantornout then slipped, letting Walsleben get clear, just as Nys was leading van der Haar and Peeters up to the Belgian champion’s back wheel.

With three to go Walsleben was ten seconds clear of the four-man group, while Albert and Meeusen were now 22 seconds behind and chasing hard. Nys then hit the front and began to hunt down the German champion, which soon distanced van der Haar; Vantornout too was soon forced to let the World champion go, as Peeters and van der Haar caught him up.

Nys steadily closed the gap to Walsleben, and caught the German champion as they arrived on the finishing straight together. The World champion led across the line to start the penultimate lap, with Peeters leading van der Haar and Vantornout 19 seconds back.

Having caught Walsleben, Nys was now gradually leaving the German behind as his knowledge of the sticky course began to show. Van der Haar had been dropped by the chase group, as Vantornout sought to close the gap to the leaders, and was being reeled in by Albert once again.

Despite Nys being able to open several gaps over the German champion, Walsleben was refusing to yield, and was still firmly clinging to the World champion’s wheel. Both passed through the pits to change their bikes and Nys kicked hard on the way out, but Walsleben clawed his way back up yet again and the two riders took the bell together.

The gap was now 18 seconds to Peeters and Vantornout, with van der Haar and Albert at 27 seconds. Having been allowed to lead over the line to start the lap, Walsleben was taking his turn to attack, and had opened a small gap over Nys on the first muddy run up section.

Nys was quickly back up to Walsleben as they hit the woods, but the German champion continued to lead through the most technical sections. Nys was looking for a way past, but the narrow, twisting course offered the World champion no opportunity to do so.

Vantornout, meanwhile, had escaped Peeters and was doing his utmost to sprint across the gap.

Heading into the final wooded section Walsleben’s chain stuck under his frame, which saw Nys fly past. With the race seemingly over for the German, however, he managed to recover from the brief mechanical fault and sprinted back up to the Belgian and took the front again.

Both riders changed their bikes once more, and were heading into the finish together again. On the approach to the final corner though, Nys sprinted ahead - much as he had done the previous day - and, once ahead, managed to hold off Walsleben all the way to the line.

With his chase unsuccessful, Vantornout cruised in to take third place, just ahead of Peeters, with Albert and van der Haar coming in soon afterwards.

Sanne Cant also goes two from two despite the British challenge

Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) was also able to show her colours for a second consecutive day, as she crossed the line alone to take the women’s race much earlier in the day. Cant managed to overcome the two-pronged British challenge, as both European champion Helen Wyman (Kona) and British champion Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) both gained the lead at some point during the race.

Having missed the podium the previous day, it was Harris that looked stronger early on, and managed to open up a small gap over Cant and Wyman. Cant managed to close the British champion down, however, before attacking herself and opening up what looked turned out to be the winning lead.

As Harris faded Wyman then managed to edge past her compatriot in the final lap, to win the race for second place. Cant was approaching the line by then, however, and had plenty of time to sit up to take her third straight victory, and her second of the weekend.

Result Elite Men
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-KDL
2. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus
3. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
4. Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
5. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
6. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team
7. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
8. Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink
9. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
10. Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank Development Team

Result Elite Women
1. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP
2. Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing
3. Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea
4. Pavla Havlíková (Cze) Telenet-Fidea
5. Githa Michiels (Bel)
6. Gabriella Durrin (GBr) Rapha-Focus
7. Christine Majerus (Lux) Sengers Ladies Cycling Team
8. Annefleur Kalvenhaar (Ned)
9. Stephanie De Croock (Bel) De Sprinters Malderen
10. Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Feestcomiitiet Drogenboom

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