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Van Aert, who was unable to prove his status as the big favorite, also had to let Meeusen go and finished in third place.

Photo: John de Jong

KEVIN PAUWELS

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KLAAS VANTORNOUT

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TOM MEEUSEN

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WOUT VAN AERT

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11.01.2015 @ 16:37 Posted by Simon van Besouw

 

Klaas Vantornhout, who started today’s race as a big underdog, is the new cyclocross champion of Belgium. Tom Meeusen finished second, while big favorite Wout van Aert came in third.

 

Everything started as planned for the young Belgium star, van Aert dominated the first two rounds of the race and dropped his competitors one by one. However, in the third round, Sven Nys came back from out of nowhere and closed a 20 second gap within a few minutes.

 

Nys didn’t hesitate one moment and immediately attacked his young rival. Van Aert tried to response, but broke his chain doing so. The mechanical failure cost him 20 seconds and dropped him back to the second group with his teammate Rob Peeters, Vantornout and Merlier.

 

In the third round, Vantornout managed to close the gap to Nijs while van Aert, who had clearly trouble with the technical parts of the course, had to stay with his Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace teammate Peeters.

 

Nijs and Vantornout slowed down a bit in the difficult conditions, which gave both Vastgoed-Palace riders the chance to come back. Not long after, Kevin Pauwels and Meeusen managed to do the same.

 

After the eventful and very exciting first four rounds, the riders took a breather in the fifth. Which let to the same six guys being together at the start of the last round.

 

In the last round, Peeters attacked first. Vantornout quickly responded and brought van Aert with him. Vantornout imediately took first position, but crashed moments later. However because of a smart move, he blocked both van Aert and Peeters and not only managed to stay in first place, he also gained a few seconds on his competitors.

 

Nobody ever saw him again. Vantornout quickly took a 13 seconds lead, while in the background the Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace guys saw Meeusen come back and a few moments later pass them. Van Aert, who was unable to prove his status as the big favorite, also had to let Meeusen go and finished in third place.

 

 

Peters, who was completely exhausted, dropped back and had to let both Nys and Pauwels pass him and settled for sixth place. 

 

This victory from Vantornout comes as a big surprise for everybody. The rider from Sunweb - Napoleon Games, had to skip most races in the last few weeks because of illness. Even minutes before the start, Vantornout told Sporza reporters that he wasn't in good condition and didn't expect a great result. 

 

 

Belgian championships in cyclo-cross top 10:

1. Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games)
2. Tom Meeusen (Team Telenet-Fidea)
3. Wout van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace)
4. Sven Nys (Team Crelan AA Drink)
5. Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games)
6. Rob Peeters (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace)
7. Tim Merlier (Sunweb-Napoleon Games)
8. Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb-Napoleon Games)
9. Bart Wellens (Team Telenet-Fidea)
10. Jim Aernouts (Sunweb-Napoleon Games)

 

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