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Nys overcomes bad start to gradually reel in the leaders before being left with Albert in the end; a final acceleration allows him to take the win and the lead in the Superprestige series

Photo: Feltet.dk

KLAAS VANTORNOUT

NEWS

NIELS ALBERT

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

SUPERPRESTIGE

NEWS
03.11.2013 @ 16:27 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With 12 overall wins in the prestigious Superprestige race series, Sven Nys is known as Mr. Superprestige and today he underlined that he is intent on taking his fourth win in a row. In today's second round in Zonhoven, he overcame a bad start to gradually reel in the leaders before making one final acceleration to distance Niels Albert in the final sprint.

 

After having been beaten by Klaas Vantornout in the first round, Sven Nys found himself in the unusual position of not leading the Superprestige race series. Today he assumed his usual position at the top of the leader board when he won the second round in Zonhoven.

 

On the hilly course that contained several steep, sandy climbs and technical, sandy descents, Nys got his race off to a bad start and he spent most of the race in chase mode as he tried to get back to Klaas Vantornout and Lars van der Haahr who dominated most of the race. However, the front duo kept attacking each other while the world champion rode a consistent ride a little further behind to finally reel in the leaders.

 

As they started the final lap, Nys, Vantornout, van der Haahr and Niels Albert - who like Nys had been chasing for most of the race - formed a front quartet. It was quickly clear that van der Haahr and Vantornout were paying the price for an aggressive race and so the race developed into a classic Albert-Nys battle.

 

Albert led all the way around the final lap and even distanced Nys on several occasions. However, the world champion rode a smart race and always had enough left in the tank to get back to his archrival.

 

When Albert had been unable to shake off Nys on the final climb, it was clear that the world champion would be difficult to beat. He wisely stayed on Albert's wheel until shortly before the finishing straight where he made one final, lethal acceleration. Albert tried to respond but lacked the power, thus allowing Nys to raise his arms in celebration.

 

 

With the win, Nys takes the lead in the Superprestige standings, just one point ahead of Vantornout. The next round of the series will take place next Sunday in Hamme-Zogge.

 

Vantornout accelerates from the gun

As usual, Klaas Vantornout sprinted as soon as the start was signaled and the Belgian champion hit the front as the peloton took the first corner. Lars van der Haahr was well-placed in seconds position while Bart Aernouts, Thijs van Amerongen and Marcel Meisen were also close to the front in the opening part of the race. Disaster struck for Philip Walsleben when he fell while running up one of the sandy climbs but he quickly remounted and reentered the peloton in one of the first positions.

 

Vantornout's fast pace created a 5-rider group that consisted of the Belgian champion himself, van der Haahr, Aernouts, van Amerongen and Meisen. Rob Peeters and Kevin Pauwels led the chase a little further behind while Sven Nys and Niels Albert had both had a bad start and was some way back in the main group.

 

Vantonout escapes on his own

Vantornout gapped his companions on another sandy climb and the Belgian champion quickly built up a big advantage over van der Haahr, Aernouts and van Amerongen. Meanwhile, Meisen had been dropped and was quickly absorbed by the main group.

 

At the first passage of the line, Vantornout was 8 seconds ahead of his three chasers while Meisen, Julien Taramarcaz and Peeters led the peloton across the line with a 20-second delay. Van der Haahr was doing all the work in the chase group and he dropped both Aernours and van Amerongen who battled on their own behind the Dutch champion. Meanwhile, Taramarcaz crashed on a steep, sandy descent but the Swiss champion was quickly back on his bike.

 

A two-rider battle

The race was now a battle between Vantornout and van der Haahr while Aernouts was riding on his own a little further behind. Albert had escaped from the main peloton and bridged across to Van Amerongen while Pauwels was leading the diminished peloton.

 

Albert was now the fastest rider on the course and he quickly joined Aernouts while Pauwels's fierce pace blew the peloton to pieces a little further behind. Up ahead, van der Haahr had done a tremendous job to catch Vantonout and he immediately went to the front in a quest to drop his companion.

 

Nys far behind

At the next passage of the line, the front duo was 4 seconds ahead of Albert and Aernouts while Pauwels, van Amerongen and Walsleben were 7 seconds further adrift. Nys was riding with Meeusen and Meisen 16 seconds behind the leaders.

 

On the first part of the next lap, Albert and Aernouts joined forces with van der Haahr and Vantornout to form a front quartet while Nys and Meeusen had now bridged across to Walsleben, Pauwels and Van Amerongen.

 

Vantornout once again the lone leader

Albert and Aernouts were digging deep to stay in contact with Vantornout and van der Haahr who both kept accelerating. Pauwels and Walsleben dropped their companions while Nys was in lone pursuit of the duo.

 

On a sandy climb, Vantornout could ride all the way to the top while van der Haahr had to run, and so the Belgian champion got a gap. For the second time, he crossed the line as the lone leader and now had a 4-second advantage over his chasers. Pauwels and Walsleben were 8 seconds behind while Nys was 4 seconds further adrift.

 

Albert accelerates

Albert hit the front on the next lap and the former world champion closed the gap to Vantornout with van der Haahr on his wheel. Meanwhile, Aernouts fell back to Walsleben and Pauwels who had now been joined by Nys. Koppenbergcross winner Meeusen was the next rider on the course but he was now far behind the top 7.

 

Walsleben was doing all the work in the chase group and the German champion made it across to the leaders with his three companions on his wheel. As Aernouts was forced to run up a sandy climb, he made created a gap behind Albert, Vantornout, van der Haahr and Walsleben who crossed the line as a front quartet. Nys, Aernouts and Pauwels were 10 seconds behind while Meeusen had recovered and reduced the gap to 20 seconds.

 

Walsleben in difficulty

Albert was riding hard on the next lap and his fierce pace forced Walsleben to lose contact with the leaders. Meanwhile, Pauwels was giving it his all in a quest to get across and the acceleration spelled the end for Aernouts who got dropped while Nys had to dig deep to stay with his compatriot.

 

At the next passage of the line, Walsleben had regained contact with the leaders while Pauwels and Nys were 9 seconds behind, with Aernouts being 10 seconds further adrift. Early on the next lap, van der Haahr hit the front and upped the pace even further which once again forced Walsleben to fall behind. Meanwhile, Nys was giving it his all as the world champion was desperately trying to get back in contention.

 

Vantornout and van der Haahr get a gap

Halfway through the lap, Nys, Walsleben and Pauwels all made the junction but the latter was dropped immediately as they hit a steep, sandy climb. Meanwhile, Albert was unable to keep up with Vantornout and van der Haahr and so the duo rode away from their companions.

 

At the next passage of the line, they were 4 seconds ahead of Albert while Nys and Walsleben were 4 seconds further adrift. Pauwels had already lost much ground and was 7 seconds behind the Nys duo.

 

Nys improves

Nys was gradually getting better as the race went on. The world champion  quickly left Walsleben behind and closed the gap to Albert. The two archrivals were now combining forces in their fierce pursuit of Vantornout and van der Haahr.

 

At the next passage of the line, the front duo was 7 seconds ahead of their chasers while Walsleben was the next on the course, more than 20 seconds behind the leaders. Van der Haahr was now the driving force in the front group and Vantonornout appeared to be struggling on his wheel. Meanwhile, Nys was taking responsibility for the chase, with Albert seeming to be fatigued after a hard race.

 

Nys joins the leaders

Nys dropped Albert on a sandy climb and on the subsequent descent he made it across to the leaders. However, the contact was a brief one as the world champion got dropped on the next climb.

 

Vantornout had been struggling on the last few climbs but the Belgian champion dug deep to stay in contact with van der Haahr all the way around the circuit. As they started the penultimate lap, the front duo were 2 seconds ahead of Nys while Albert was 3 seconds further adrift.

 

A front quartet is formed

Shortly after the passage of the line, Nys and Albert both rejoined the leaders and so a front quartet had been established. After van der Haahr had left all the way round the previous lap, the pace-setting duties were now left to Vantornout. Albert made an unsuccessful attempt to overtake Nys and lost a few metres as a consequence. Nys had more luck a few moments later when he accelerated to get past van der Haahr.

 

Van der Haahr had to run up a climb and this saw the Dutch champion fall back to Albert. Meanwhile, Nys hit the front but as he refused to really commit himself to the cause, the front quartet came back together.

 

Albert accelerates

Albert had now recovered from his struggles and took over the pace-setting as they approached the finish line. The front quartet crossed the line together to start the final, exciting lap that would decide the race.

 

Albert kept the pace on the opening part and Nys was unable to stay on his wheel. The former world champion opened up a gap while Nys desperately tried to get back to his rival. Van der Haahr was clearly paying the price for an aggressive race and lost contact with his companions.

 

Nys digs deep

Nys rejoined Albert on the next climb while Vantonout had lost a few metres. It now looked like a classical Albert-Nys battle but Vantornout hadn't given up and didn't lose any ground to the leaders.

 

Albert kept his pace high and this was too much for Nys who once again lost contact with the leader. However, as Albert made a mistake in a sandy corner, the two archrivals came back together.

 

Albert sped down the final descent but Nys was ready to pounce on his wheel. The attack came a few moments later when the world champion hit the front and entered the finishing straight in first position. Albert tried to respond but was unable to match Nys' speed and so had to settle for 2nd. Vantornout finished a little later in 3rd while van der Haahr took 4th. Walsleben beat Aernouts and Meeusen in a close sprint for 5th. Wietse Bosmans and Niels Wubben took 8th and 9th while Pauwels had faded back to 10th at the finish

 

Result:

1. Sven Nys

2. Niels Albert

3. Klaas Vantornout

4. Lars van der Haahr

5. Philip Walsleben

6. Bart Aernouts

7. Tom Meeusen

8. Wietse Bosmans

9. Niels Wubben

10. Kevin Pauwels

 

Overall Superprestige standings:

1. Sven Nys 29

2. Klaas Vantornout 28

3. Niels Albert 25

4. Lars van der Haahr 24

5. Tom Meeusen 22

6. Bart Aernouts 21

7. Philip Walsleben 14

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