Bpost Bank Trofee: Sven Nys wins his own race for a twelfth time in a one-man show
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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bpost Bank Trofee: Sven Nys wins his own race for a twelfth time in a one-man show

by Ben Atkins at 10:34 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
Katie Compton makes it a perfect day for Trek as Marianne Vos punctures on final lap

sven nysHaving seen off his Colnago in style at the Superprestige Diegnan three days before, World champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) welcomed his new Trek bike in a similarly perfect manner with victory in his own race, the GP Sven Nys, in Baal. After taking the lead on the very first lap, the World champion metronomically opened up a winning margin of almost a minute over the steadily shrinking chase group behind him, to take his twelfth victory in the 15-year history of the race.

Zdeněk Štybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the hard-fought battle for second place, despite having started from a long way back in the grid thanks to his low level of current-season ranking points. The Czech champion managed to shed fellow former World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Rob Peeters in his new Vastgoedservice livery, on the penultimate lap, while a final lap surge from Albert saw him take third place.

With the race as round six of eight in the Bpost Bank Trofee, Nys’ victory saw him increase his overall lead over Albert to 2’57”.

Martin Bina sets the early pace but Nys soon takes over in front

Martin Bina (Kwadro-Stannah) was the first away from the line, and led around the early corners of the opening lap with Corné van Kessel (Telenet-Fidea) on his wheel, and Peeters fighting to hold on. German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) was leading a sizeable group not far behind, and refused to allow the small gap to grow any wider.

Nys edged his way around the leaders midway around the lap, positioning himself behind Peeters in third wheel, but Walsleben took the lead.

One of the few not to pass through the pits as the lead group arrived at the foot of the long staircase, Nys accelerated past. Only Walsleben was anywhere close to the World champion as he took the short, technical descent that followed, as Bina continued to lead Peeters and van Kessel a few seconds behind them.

Across the line at the end of lap one, Nys and Walsleben were five seconds ahead of Peeters, Bina and van Amerongen, with Štybar leading a small group after 15 seconds. Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) was leading a group that contained Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) after 21 seconds, with several of the big names having been held up by chaos in the crowded pit.

As Nys bunny-hopped the two log hurdles, and Walsleben dismounted, the World champion accelerated clear again, while Peeters began to gain on the German champion.

Peeters soon passed Walsleben, but both were several seconds behind Nys on the course’s flat switchback section. Nys elected to change his bike through the pits this time, then took the GvA sprint, ahead of Peeters and Walsleben, and the new Vastgoedservice rider caught up with his former teammate shortly before the finish of lap two.

Peeters catches Nys but cant hold on for long

The two of them crossed the line six seconds clear of Walsleben, with Štybar, Bina, Meeusen and van Kessel, Albert and van Amerongen another ten seconds further back.

Despite matching Nys’ bunny hops over the two hurdles, Peeters was unable to stay with the World champion for long as he began to accelerate on the sticky course. Behind them, Meeusen caught and passed Walsleben, but was caught in turn by the charging Štybar and the two of them began to reel in Peeters.

Nys changed his bike again, and was 12 seconds ahead of Peeters at the end of lap three, with Meeusen, Štybar and Albert now at 23 seconds.

As Peeters ploughed a lone furrow in pursuit of Nys, the three-man chase group behind him began to gradually edge closer. Having only caught the two others shortly before the finish line, Albert moved ahead of Štybar and Meeusen and started to move clear. Under the sprint point the World champion’s lead was up to 23 seconds, while the Albert-led chase was now less than ten seconds behind Peeters.

Peeters was visibly fading by now, however, and with four laps down and four to go, his deficit to Nys had opened up to 28 seconds, while Albert had brought the chasing trio to within four seconds of him.

Štybar then jumped again, cruised past Peeters and left the others behind.

Nys was cruising around the course, however, and was continuing to open his lead over the rest. With three to go he was 34 seconds clear of Štybar, who led Peeters and Albert by five and eight seconds respectively.

The fight for second intensifies but Nys is long gone

Peeters was not willing to give up his podium place lightly, however, and fought his way back up to the Czech champion, leaving Albert chasing alone behind them. Štybar was not happy with the other rider’s presence, however, and - as Nys suffered a brief wobble up ahead - began to put pressure on Peeters behind him. Peeters refused to yield though, and clung doggedly to the former World champion’s wheel, while Albert fought gamely to rejoin the duo.

Across the line with two to go Nys’ advantage over Štybar and Peeters was up to 53 seconds, with Albert five seconds behind them. Meeusen was now 1’15” behind the leader, with van Amerongen at 1’30” and were the only other riders in sight.

Štybar allowed Peeters to take the front as they crossed the line and, in the early part of the penultimate lap, Albert managed to claw his way across to them. Štybar hit the front just as the BKCP-Powerplus rider arrived, making it difficult for him to make proper contact, and managed to pull himself clear once again.

At the bell, Štybar was 54 seconds behind Nys, while Peeters’ and Albert’s battle for third was now another 18 seconds back.

Midway around the final lap Nys took a small tumble on the sticky ground, but was quickly back on his bike, and his lead was sufficient for it to have no effect on the result. Behind him Albert put in his final lap surge and quickly got rid of Peeters, and was fighting to close down Štybar again.

The rest of the lap was ridden as a lap of honour for Nys, who celebrated for the length of the finishing straight, then treated his new Trek to the same tribute afforded his Colnago in his previous race. Stopping before the line, the World champion lifted his bike to his lips, and kissed the frame for the photographers, before stepping over the line to take victory.

Štybar celebrated his second place 51 seocnds later, with Albert taking third after another six seconds.

Katie Compton crowns Trek’s perfect day as Vos punctures late

Katie Compton (Trek) completed a perfect day for her and Nys’ American bike sponsor with a solo victory in the women’s race, after a final lap puncture put World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) out of contention. The battle for third place was between two compatriots, British champion Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) and European champion Helen Wyman (Kona), with Harris coming out on top.

Compton and Vos had spent much of the race exchanging attacks but, just as they passed the pit entrance on the final lap, Vos noticed her front tyre flattening. The World champion turned and retraced the course to enter and change her bike. Despite the illegal move, Vos’ result was allowed to stand, but the incident cost her too much time to be able to make up her deficit to Compton.

Result Elite Men
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink
2. Zdeněk Štybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
3. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
4. Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice Cycling Team
5. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
6. Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink
7. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus
8. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink
9. Corné van Kessel (Ned) Telenet-Fidea
10. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah

Result Elite Women
1. Katie Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
3. Nikki Harris (GBr) Telenet-Fidea
4. Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing
5. Sophie de Boer (Ned) KDL Cycling Team
6. Elle Anderson (USA) California Giant Cycling Team
7. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP
8. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
9. Githa Michiels (Bel) KMC-Trek
10. Sabrina Stultiëns (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant


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