Sven Nys dominates Belgian Cyclocross Championships to take ninth driekleur jersey
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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sven Nys dominates Belgian Cyclocross Championships to take ninth driekleur jersey

by Ben Atkins at 11:43 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results, National Championships
 
Sanne Cant takes fifth straight title in attritional women’s race

sven nysSven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) won his ninth Belgian national cyclocross title on the tough, attritional course at the Waregem Hippodroom, and now trails Roland Liboton by just one championship in the all-time winner’s list. The World champion broke away on the third lap of the race, and rode steadily away from what quickly became a battle for second place behind him.

Overcoming a bad start, where a stumble put him right at the back of the 14-strong field, Rob Peeters (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) took second place, just ahead of former two-time champion Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea).

Defending champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) made his usual fast start, but Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) led off the long tarmac start straight and around much of the opening lap. Joeri Adams (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) then came around Meeusen in the final corners of the circuit, but was unable to split the pack, and the majority of the field crossed the line all together.

Former champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) then led into the second lap and, as he began to accelerate, only Meeusen was able to hold his wheel. Vantornout and Peeters both stumbled on the course’s first short run up, putting them at the back of the field, then Nys managed to fight his way across to the two leaders; moving ahead of Meeusen on the sandpit just as Jim Aernouts (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) managed to join.

Nys then began to turn the screw, but the group bunched behind the World champion as he stuttered across the course’s shallow ditch. At the end of lap two Peeters and Vantornout were still at the back of the field, but most others were still all together.

Having caught up on the sand the previous lap, however, Nys then kicked across it the third time and, as Jim Aernouts wobbled behind him, was clear. Leading the chase, Albert stumbled on the ditch where Nys had wobbled on the previous lap, which saw a number of riders come past.

Nys was 17 seconds clear at the end of the lap, as Albert then fell again on the first short run up.

Wellens meanwhile was moving clear of the rest, and the group’s progress was disrupted by Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) falling as he bunny-hopped the hurdles. Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) edged closer to Wellens, as Peeters - having made his way through the field - was leading Jim Aernouts behind him.

Now struggling near the back of the field, and with a result now almost impossible, Albert rode off the course and abandoned. Having been at the back for the entire race, Vantornout soon joined his fellow former champion.

Peeters and Pauwels then tried move clear of the other chasers, but none of this was affecting Nys, who continued his own solo effort. Wellens and Peeters then proceeded to leave Pauwels behind, however, as more chasers began to come together behind.

With two laps to go Nys was 40 second clear of Wellens and Peeters, with the rest of those still in the race at 50 seconds. Peeters gestured Wellens to come through to chase, but Wellens merely urged his former teammate on.

At the bell Nys’ lead was up to 42 seconds, and 1’05” to Meeusen and Jim Aernouts who were breaking clear of the others. A bike change for Wellens allowed Peeters to open up a gap, however, and the Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace didn’t look back.

The tough course finally seemed to make its mark on Nys as he was forced to dismount and run for the last metres of the sandpit. Peeters and Wellens were running for most of the sand, as Peeters was beginning to widen his slight advantage.

As Nys dismounted for the hurdles, and the tight zigzags that followed, he raised his hand to the cheering crowd. Riding the entire finishing straight sitting upright, Nys waved to the crowd, echoed their applause, before crossing the line to take his ninth title. Peeters then freewheeled over the line to take the silver medal, with Wellens sitting up to take the applause with his best result of the season so far.

Sanne Cant overcomes a poor start to take fifth straight women’s title

Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) overcame a first lap stumble to take her fifth straight victory in the women’s race earlier in the day. The 23-year-old Antwerper managed to get clear of nearest challenger Ellen Van Loy (Telenet-Fidea) on the second lap, as Van Loy herself fell victim to the slippery course, and rode away solo to take the win. Mountainbiker Githa Michiels (KMC) was the best of the rest, to take her first ever cyclocross national championship medal.

Cant stumbled on the first short run up of the opening lap, which was to claim so many victims in the later men’s race, allowing Van Loy to open a gap, but the reigning champion was soon reeling in the Telenet-Fidea rider on the technical, muddy course. Jolien Verschueren (DNCS-Pro 2012) was clinging gainly to the defending champion’s wheel, but soon began to drift backwards.

Cant stumbled again as she was catching Van Loy, but the leader then slipped off on a tight turn herself, which allowed the Enertherm-BKCP rider to get ahead. Once clear Cant began to open up her lead, and was helped by another stumble from Van Loy on the spot where Cant herself had been held up on the opening lap.

Former two-time champion Loes Sels managed to join up with Telenet-Fidea teammate Van Loy, but then slipped off in the mud, which allowed Michels to get past. As Cant rode on to victory, a tiring Van Loy came off again at the foot of one of the bridges, but she was far enough ahead of Michiels to hold on to her second place.

Result Elite Men
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink
2. Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace
3. Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
4. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
5. Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
6. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
7. Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
8. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
9. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink
10. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games

Result Elite Women
1. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP
2. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
3. Githa Michiels (Bel) KMC
4. Loes Sels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
5. Jolien Verschueren (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012

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