Sven Nys powers to fourth straight Druivencross Overijse
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Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sven Nys powers to fourth straight Druivencross Overijse

by Kyle Moore at 11:20 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
Compton wins again in women’s podium repeat

Sven NysSven Nys (Crelan-KDL) used minor mistakes by his rivals on the final lap of a speedy edition of Druivencross Overijse – if he even needed the errors – to ride away with a fourth straight victory in the race. Slip-ups by Lars van der Haar (Rabobank), Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) may not have directly led to the world champion’s victory, but they certainly helped, especially after Nys made a dig of his own late in the final lap, getting him the margin he needed for victory.

Dutch cross champ van der Haar sprinted home for second, and Pauwels took third ahead of Vantornout, who had made the last, and perhaps most crucial mistake.

Nys was leading the quartet of riders through a winding wooded section as the final lap was concluding, with Vantornout riding second in line. Vantornout hit a barrier post from his spot directly behind Nys, and briefly held up van der Haar and Pauwels behind him. Van der Haar flew around the stricken Belgian, but with only an S-curve, and a cobbled and pavement section left before the line, the gap was plenty for Nys.

The world champion sprinted toward the finish to hold off van der Haar, ensuring himself time to sit up and punch the air, nailing a hard-fought fourth consecutive victory in the event.

Marcel Meisen (Kwadro-Stannah) had a good day to get fifth place, followed by the AA Drink pair of Bart Aernouts and Thijs Van Amerongen.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) had a rare bout of ineffectiveness, eventually finishing eighth.

How the race played out:

Skittery pavement and screaming brakes had riders a little jumpy hitting the first turn, but Pauwels took the hole shot ahead of a team-mate, while American Jonathan Page (Fuji) was also out well, sandwiched between Albert and Nys. Through the pits the first time, Pauwels ignored them and began pulling a lead on Ludobir Petrus (BKCP-Powerplus) behind him, as Albert again chose to cruise well back in the field through the first lap. On an Overijse course featuring equal amounts grass and slippery mud, Pauwels had extended to a solo lead starting lap two.

Van Amerongen was the man giving chase, with Pauwels’ team-mate Vantornout just behind him. Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) had been giving chase as well, and the four men got together with a gap over Meisen and his bunch behind him.

But a lap later, everything had consolidated near the front, with some 12 riders within a few seconds of each other. Walsleben seemed to fix a mechanical problem without dismounting, but the resulting slow-down put him at the back of the line and eventually out of contention entirely. With Albert still lurking, half the riders in the lead group changed through the pits, with the others riding on and five laps to go.

Nearing the race’s halfway point, six men had a small gap, pushed on by Nys. Also there were Van Amerongen, Pauwels, Vantornout, van der Haar, and Meisen, Kwadro-Stannah having a much better day than Saturday, when most of its riders didn’t finish.

But Bart Aernouts and Albert were chasing on, although with four laps to go, the five up front suddenly had a five-second gap on Meisen, Aernouts, and Albert. With ample climbing on the Overijse course as well, Nys punched once beginning the lap, but Vantornout hung in, as did the rest of the group save for Van Amerongen, who tried to fight back on but would have to wait and see if Nys, Vantornout, van der Haar, and Pauwels would slow up.

But as long as Nys was in the lead, it would not happen. The world champ later attacked the same hill as he had one lap earlier, but again Vantornout and the rest hung in, though perhaps looking a bit more laboured than before.

Behind, trouble was plaguing Albert, who appeared to give up his chase, while neither Meisen nor Aernouts could make any progress either. With Walsleben well back, and with Van Amerongen continuing to fade, the race was down to four riders with three laps left.

After Nys’ last push, Vantornout struggled a bit to recover, allowing a small gap between he and van der Haar, who was glued to the wheel of Nys. But all four were through the pits the next time through, and the Dutch champion came out with the lead, with Nys still content to wait on making things more decisive. Vantornout and van der Haar were switching off on the penultimate lap, and the group was looking at each other over the line to begin the last round.

Vantornout didn’t give Nys a chance to attack the muddy climb once more on the final lap. The Belgian champ put in a dig of his own, but Nys and the group stayed close. The quartet picked their way through the winding downhill off the climb as Vantornout continued to pace.

Vantornout and Nys took several glances back as van der Haar had allowed a small gap to open, but the Dutchman had it closed off the pavement as the race hit the mud again.

Van der Haar then nearly slid out on a right-hander, but the Dutchman saved it, and saved his race in the process. Vantornout attacked another uphill and briefly took a lead, but Nys was vigilant once more. Behind, Pauwels had a moment as well, unclipping once over a rise and losing ground at the back of the line.

Next it was Vantornout’s turn to make a mistake. Nys had just accelerated to the front of the line on a cobbled section, putting Vantornout into second in line. The Sunweb-Napoleon Games rider was sticking to the wheel of Nys, but he banged into a padded post at a right-hand turn, briefly holding up van der Haar and giving Nys a bit of daylight. It was all the Cannibal would need.

Van der Haar had come around Vantornout, and took the next curve banked well over trying to catch up, but it was to no avail. The riders were on the pavement by this time, and Nys opened a brief sprint that ensured van der Haar stayed behind.

The world champ confirmed his fourth consecutive Druivencross, with van der Haar and Pauwels rounding out the podium.

Compton squeezes out another victory over classy Sanne Cant:

Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) took her closest win of the season on Sunday in the women’s Druivencross, fighting off a tenacious Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) in a sprint finish. Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) was a close third, and her team-mate Sophie De Boer was fourth. The podium was a duplicate picture of Saturday's result in the Scheldecross in Antwerp.

Harris took the early lead on Sunday, with Compton back in fourth behind Cant and De Boer. A slip by De Boer on a steep uphill that Harris had ridden helped the British woman to extend her lead, as both Compton and Cant were stuck behind De Boer.

But Compton used her power on some of the Overijse uphills to eventually work up to the British champion. The world cup leader also showed her class in powering away, while Cant eventually also went around the fading Harris.

But Cant had soon fought her way up to Compton, looking stronger on the uphills and the run-ups. The Belgian champion took the lead and threatened to ride away from Compton on the big climb to begin the final lap, but Compton battled back. The American swooped around on one of the final bends and held off Cant in the sprint.

De Vlaamse Druivencross Overijse – Elite Men’s Brief Results:

1, Sven Nys (Crelan-KDL)
2, Lars van der Haar (Rabobank)
3, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games)
4, Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games)
5, Marcel Meisen (Kwadro-Stannah)
6, Bart Aernouts (AA Drink)
7, Thijs Van Amerongen (AA Drink)
8, Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus)
9, Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus)
10, Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea)

Elite Women’s Results:

1, Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective)
2, Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP)
3, Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea)
4, Sophie De Boer (Telenet-Fidea)
5, Ellen Van Loy (DNCS-Pro 2012)
6, Pavla Havlikova (Telenet-Fidea)
7, Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabobank-Liv-Giant)
8, Karen Verhestraeten (Sengers Ladies)
9, Jolien Verschueren (CT Drogenboom)
10, Katrien Thijs (Belgium)


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