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Meeusen takes first season win in Ruddervoorde

After a fast race, Meeusen beat van der Poel, Vantornout and Nys in a four-rider sprint to win the Superprestige race in Ruddervoorde; van der Poel takes the overall lead










09.11.2014 @ 16:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tom Meeusen took his first win of the 2014 season when he won today’s Superprestige race in Ruddervoorde. The Belgian emerged as the fastest when he beat Mathieu van der Poel, Klaas Vantornout and Sven Nys in a four-rider sprint after a fast race while second was enough for van der Poel to take the overall lead in the series.


One week ago Tom Meeusen vented his frustration over another near-miss when he finished fourth in the Superprestige race in Zonhoven. Today he finally made it onto the podium in a major race for the first time in almost a month and when he did so, he even took the win.


In a very fast race in Ruddervoorde, a front group of 8 dominated the action. Nys, van der Poel, Vantornout, Meeusen, Lars van der Haar, Jens Adams, Kevin Pauwels and Corne van Kessel spent most of the race together, with splits happening several times throughout the race but most of the group came back together every time.


At the start of the final lap, only van Kessel had been dropped for good while Nys and Adams were slightly tailed off. The pair managed to bridge the gap while Meeusen set a steady pace, meaning that seven riders were still in contention for the win as they neared the halfway point of the circuit.


Meeusen launched a fierce attack and spent most of the final part of the race as the lone leader with a small 1-2 second advantage over his chasers. Vantornout was doing all the work while Nys was riding at the back of the group.


In the sand section just before the entrance of the finishing straight, Vantornout, Pauwels, van der Poel and Nys bridged the gap after the latter had used his technical skills to move up in the group. However, no one managed to pass Meeusen and it was the Telenet-Fidea captain who led the group onto the asphalt after Pauwels had been taken out by a mechanical.


As soon as they hit the finishing straight, Meeusen launched his sprint and no one managed to come around him. Van der Poel passed Vantornout to take second while Nys rolled across the line in fourth.


Having started the race in third overall, one point behind Nys and van der Haar, van der Poel moved into the lead in the Superprestige series. He is now one point ahead of Nys while van der Haar is third, one point further adrift.


How it unfolded:

Lars van der Haar won the opening sprint but was quickly passed by Rob Peeters who opened a gap in the early part of the circuit. However, Tom Meeusen quickly shut it down and when Peeters made a technical mistake, the Telenet-Fidea hit the front.


Meeusen, Peeters and van de Haar got a small advantage and while Meeusen continued to set a hard pace, Klaas Vantornout joined them. Meanwhile, Sven Nys had got a slow start and was riding far back in the group.


In a sandy section, van der Haar and Meeusen attacked while Nys accelerated hard to move up in the group. At the passage of the line, van der Haar and Meeusen were the leaders, 5 second ahead of Vantornout while Jens Adams led the first bigger group that included Nys.


Van der Haar realized that he had created a selection and he continued to ride hard while Meeusen had to dig deep to stay with him. Peeters was now drifting backwards while Adams and Corne Van Kessel led the group that chased the three escapees.


Halfway through the second lap, Vantornout bridged the gap to the leaders while the chase group had been whittled down to just Adams, van Kessel, Nys and Mathieu van der Poel. In the sandy section, the latter hit the deck and fell back to the next group.


Nys had now taken the lead in the second group and he led Adams and van Kessel across the line with a deficit of 10 seconds. Philipp Walsleben and van der Poels were at 22 seconds while Dieter Vanthourenhout was trying to pace Kevin Pauwels back into contention a little further back.


Meeusen rode hard in the third lap and this was too much for Vantornout and van der Poel. While Nys dropped Adams and van Kessel, the Telenet-Fidea rider was now the lone leader of the race.


Vantornout seemed to be the weakest link in among the leaders and when van der Haar passed the Sunweb rider, the front trio came back together. Meanwhile, Nys was still in desperate pursuit and the Belgian champion was now getting closer. At the end of the third lap, he was just 6 seconds behind while Pauwels was also moving up, riding with van der Poel 10 seconds further adrift.


At the start of the next lap, van der Haar again took over the pace-setting from Meeusen but he was quickly passed by Vantornout. He didn’t go fast enough to keep Nys at bay and the Belgian champion made the junction halfway through the lap.


Pauwels had now joined van Kessel and the pair was gradually getting closer to the front quartet. Just before the next passage of the line, they closed the gap, meaning that six riders made up the front group and the start of the fifth lap. Adams and van der Poel were just 5 seconds behind.


In the early part of the circuit, van der Haar took over the pace-setting and tried to put his rivals under pressure. As he maintained his speed for most of the lap, Pauwels went down in a crash which split the group, leaving van Kessel, van der Haar and Vantornout as the leaders.


Moments later, another drama unfolded when van Kessel went down. His bike tangled with van der Haar’s and it took a long time for the riders to get going again. Vantornout was now the lone leader while Nys and van der Poel were his nearest chasers.


Vantornout crossed the line with an advantage of 3 seconds as Meeusen had now joined Nys and van der Poel. Pauwels and Adams were next, with van Kessel close behind, while van der Haar was far back.


In the first part of the next lap, the chase trio rejoined Vantornout and moments later Pauwels also latched onto the back of the group. Adams and van Kessel were next to join them, meaning that 7 riders were now together in the lead.


As they crossed the line, van Kesel had been dropped and it was still Vantornout doing all the work. Van der Haar was in lone pursuit but was now 15 seconds behind.


Adams made a surprise attack in the next lap and as he set a hard pace, he got a small gap. The group was now splitting up and it was Vantornout, Meeusen and van der Poel who made the junction.


At the next passage of the line, the front quartet were 2 seconds ahead of Nys, van Kessel and Pauwels while van der Haar was only 5 seconds further adrift. Vantornout again took over  the pace-setting while Adams drifted to the back of the group.


Halfway through the lap, van der Haar, Nys, Pauwels and van Kessel joined the leaders, meaning that it was again a front octet. However, they didn’t get much chance to recover as van der Poel launched a fierce attack and got a gap.


At the start of the penultimate lap, van der Poel was the lone leader, 2 seconds ahead of Vantornout and Meeusen while the rest of the group was at 9 seconds.  Vantornout gradually bridged the gap, meaning that a front trio had formed halfway through the lap.


Vantornout made a small mistake but quickly managed to regain contact. Pauwels was gradually getting close while van der Haar was the fifth rider on the course and both made the junction before they hit the sand section.


Pauwels made a mistake in the sand and so van der Poel, Vantornout and Meeusen were a few seconds ahead of van der Haar and Pauwels at the start of the final lap. Nys and Adams were at 5 seconds.


Meeusen had now taken over the pace-setting but as he didn’t go full gas, all the groups merged and a front septet had been formed. As they hit a climb, Meeusen attacked hard and he quickly got a small gap.


In the sand section, Vantornout bridged the gap with van der Poel and Pauwels on his wheel. Nys accelerated hard to move into fourth, creating a front quartet.


Meeusen maintained his speed at the front while Pauwels was dropped due to a mechanical. Hence, it all came down to a sprint and it was Meeusen who launched his effort from the front, taking his first win of the season.



1. Tom Meeusen

2. Klaas Vantornout

3. Mathieu van der Poel

4. Sven Nys

5. Lars van der Haar

6. Jens Adams

7. Kevin Pauwels

8. Corne van Kessel

9. Joeri Adams

10. Bart Aernouts


Overall standings:

1. Mathieu van der Poel 40

2. Sven Nys 39

3. Lars van der Haar 38

4. Kevin Pauwels 34

5. Klaas Vantornout 34

6. Tom Meeusen  33

7. Corne van Kessel 24

8. Jens Adams 20

9. Bart Aernouts 18

10. Philipp Walsleben 13



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