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Sluitingsprijs Oostmalle (Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee Veldrijden #7) - C1
Oostmalle, Belgium, February 19, 2006
Teamwork leads to victory for De Knegt
By Brecht Decaluwé
With his fifth victory of the season, Dutchman Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank) rounded up the cyclo-cross season 2005/2006. The Belgian champion Sven Nys chose not to chase his teammate, offering him a unique chance to win a tactical race. De Knegt never weakened and grabbed a well-deserved win.
The overall classification in the GVA Trophy went to Sven Nys. Again, the "cyclo-cannibal" was the best man of the season, winning an astounding 27 out of 44 races. His defeat in the World Championships remains his biggest defeat of the season.
Rabobank's De Knegt was very happy with his victory. "I got a nice gap on the field as my teammates did some stoppage work," the Dutch rider said. "Luckily, I didn't give way and could even extend my advance to 45 seconds. This win is a great way to finish my comeback season."
Sven Nys took the time to reflect on his performances this season after the race finished. "Winning the GVA Trophy concludes another impressive season for me," the Belgian commented. "The win in the overalls [including the Superprestige - ed.] means that I won all the regularity competitions of this season. Only at the World Championships I had some bad luck, which made it only a mini grand slam."
Seeing the Belgian champion performing as a team player needed some explanation, as cyclo-cross is a much more individual sport than road racing, for example. "After a bad start I saw that all teams were playing their team tactics," Nys continued. "This offered Niels Albert an advance. Being in that annoying position made me think - I decided that I would make them feel that we also have a good team. I brought everybody back to the front but then offered De Knegt the lead. I did some stoppage work and enjoyed my role as a perfect teammate."
World champion Erwin Vervecken wasn't disappointed: "When De Knegt attacked I was just coming back at the front. I was unable to continue my efforts and battled for second place. In that situation, a third place is not bad."
How it unfolded
An enormous pack of 85 riders started in the sandy woods near Oostmalle, Belgium, for the last cyclo-cross race of the season. Most riders of the Palmans team had a good start and young Niels Albert led the field on the first sandy trails. Showing off some teamwork, Tom Vannoppen dropped a gap and allowed Albert to take distance on the field. Favourite Sven Nys had a bad start and needed to work hard, trying to get back to the front.
After one lap, Albert's good start had resulted in a gap of ten seconds. A group of four with the likes of Gerben De Knegt, Bart Wellens and Tom Vannoppen were following the youngster. The rest of the field with Vervecken and Nys was distanced at 21 seconds.
But Sven Nys recovered swiftly from his bad start and brought the field back to the first pursuers. Niels Albert kept working in the offensive and improved his gap to twelve seconds after two laps.
Albert couldn't hold on his advantage as Nys, together with teammate Gerben De Knegt, were the first to come back on him. World champion Erwin Vervecken had a good day and brought the rest of the field back into contention. Dutchman Gerben De Knegt then attacked and got away from the rest quite quickly. Nys dropped the pace while riding in second position. Controlling the race in impressive style, the Belgian champion allowed nobody to chase his teammate. Despite the efforts of Fidea riders Zdenek Stybar and Bart Wellens, the advantage of De Knegt only grew. Later on, Jonathan Page, Niels Albert and Erwin Vervecken all tried to reduce the gap, but it was in vain as everyone was controlled by the three Rabobank riders. The gap grew to more than 40 seconds so in the last lap, thus Gerben De Knegt was certain of the victory. He concluded his solo and grabbed his fifth win of the season.
In the back, Sven Nys showed that he was probably the strongest man today. He rushed to second place making it an impressive double for the Rabobank team. World champion Vervecken couldn't keep up with Nys and finished third. Bart Wellens took fourth beating Niels Albert and Sven Vanthourenhout in a sprint.
Elite/U23 Men 1 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 59.42 2 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank 0.33 3 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.35 4 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.38 5 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 6 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Rabobank 7 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank 8 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 9 Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 10 Radomir Simunek (Cze) 11 Tom Vannoppen (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 12 Jonathan Page (USA) Cervélo 13 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 1.03 14 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 15 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 16 Wilant Van Gils (Ned) ZZPR.nl 17 Peter Van Santvliet (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 18 Marco Bianco (Ita) 19 David Willemsens (Bel) WC Vos Sportief Sint 1.07 20 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 1.30 21 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor 22 Arne Daelmans (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - T Interim 1.53 23 Camiel Van Den Bergh (Ned) Stevens Racing Team 2.29 24 Jan Soetens (Bel) 25 Christian Heule (Swi) Stevens Racing Team 3.07 26 Mike Thielemans (Bel) 27 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) 28 Bert Vervecken (Bel) 3.27 29 Darius Gil (Pol) Paged-MBK-Scout 30 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) AVB Asbestverwijdering 3.38 31 Rob Peeters (Bel) 32 Kris Wouters (Bel) 33 Sten Raeymakers (Bel) 3.51 34 David Meys (Bel) Profel Cycling Team 4.08 35 David Laenen (Bel) 4.25 36 Nico Clarysse (Bel) Saey Deschacht 4.36 37 Dirk Bertels (Bel) 5.44 38 Wim Leemans (Bel) 39 Sven Van Eyndt (Bel) 40 Paul Van Loon (Bel) 41 Steve Gruwier (Bel) 42 Stijn Huys (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 6.05 43 Tom Van Bosch (Bel) 7.17 44 Dennis Verhoeven (Bel) 1 lap behind 45 Florian Simonot (Fra) 46 Guy Bertels (Bel) 47 Frank van Grootel (Ned) 48 Dries Dewit (Bel) 49 Quentin Bertholet (Bel) 50 Gianni Denolf (Bel) 51 Tim Milis (Bel) 52 Tom Lambrechts (Bel) 53 Thomas Boeckx (Bel) 54 Erik Myngheer (Bel) Starters: 85 Classified: 54 Women 1 Daphny van den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.nl 37.11 2 Marianne Vos (Ned) 0.18 3 Hanka Kupfernagel (Ger) Vlaanderen-Capri Sonne-T Interim 0.42 4 Reza Hormes-Ravenstijn (Ned) 1.45 5 Loes Sels (Bel) Vlaanderen-Capri Sonne-T Interim 1.52 6 Sanne Cant (Bel) 2.08 7 Katleen Vermeiren (Bel) 2.50 8 Kathy Ingels (Bel) 2.52 9 Helen Wyman (GBr) 2.54 10 Hilde Quintens (Bel) 3.00 11 Katrin Pauwels (Bel) 4.12 12 Britt Jochems (Ned) 5.10 13 Katrien Aerts (Bel) 6.10 14 Victoria Wilkinson (GBr) 6.42 15 Caroline Van Petegem (Bel) 7.23 16 Katrien Vermeiren (Bel) 1 lap behind 17 Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) 18 Sharon Defoor (Bel) 19 Sarah Vloemans (Bel) 20 Sandie Verriest (Bel) Starters: 21 Classified: 20 Juniors 1 Tom Meeusen (Bel) 38.25 2 Boy van Poppel (Ned) 0.22 3 Jim Aernouts (Bel) 0.48 4 Maarten Verhestraeten (Bel) 0.57 5 Kevin Cant (Bel) 6 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) 7 Dennis Vanendert (Bel) 8 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) 1.02 9 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) 1.27 10 Kristof Cop (Bel) 11 Joeri Adams (Bel) 1.43 12 Mitchell Huenders (Ned) 1.57 13 Dries Pauwels (Bel) 14 Dave De Cleyn (Bel) 2.00 15 Edwin Arts (Ned) 16 Bart Bruyndonckx (Bel) 2.30 17 Jeroen Dekkers (Ned) 2.37 18 Jens Gys (Bel) 3.15 19 Wim Thijs (Bel) 3.33 20 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) 4.29 21 Kristof Scheirs (Bel) 5.42 22 Nick De Proost (Bel) 7.00 23 Hans Bertels (Bel) 24 Timo Thomas (Bel) 25 Lorenzo Messine (Bel) 26 Nick Lauwers (Bel) Starters: 29 Classified: 26 Novices 1 Stef Boden (Bel) 27.35 2 Sean De Bie (Bel) 0.06 3 Kevin Smits (Bel) 4 Kenneth Mariën (Bel) 0.55 5 Hans Antonissen (Bel) 0.57 6 Zeb Willems (Bel) 7 Bart Barkhuis (Ned) 8 Michiel Dieleman (Bel) 0.59 9 Ruben Veestraeten (Bel) 10 Gerry Druyts (Bel) 11 Kenny Maes (Bel) 12 Jochen Torfs (Bel) 13 Niels Van Craen (Bel) 14 Daan Meijers (Ned) 15 Thomas Van Calster (Bel) 16 Ben Roach (GBr) 17 Geert Van der Horst (Ned) 18 Niels Koyen (Bel) 19 Ben Remijsen (Bel) 20 Thomas Gysbrechts (Bel) 21 Stijn Van Driessche (Bel) 22 Erwin Theuns (Bel) 23 Bert Vermeiren (Bel) 24 Sven Beelen (Bel) 25 Sieën Veestraeten (Bel) 26 Dimi Diels (Bel) 27 Zeb Veestraeten (Bel) 28 Thomas Verbeeck (Bel) 29 Jelle Storms (Bel) 30 Dieter Eyskens (Bel) 31 Erwin Van Dijk (Ned) 32 Gregory De Mulder (Bel) 33 Renzo van Ree (Ned) 34 Rick van Deursen (Ned) 35 Simon Geets (Bel) 36 Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel) 37 Niels Meeusen (Bel) 38 Rinze De Proost (Bel) 1 lap behind 39 Jordan Aerts (Bel) 40 Koen Vandeput (Bel) 41 Jens Van den Bosch (Bel) 42 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) 43 Micky Franssens (Bel) 44 Matthijs Van Loy (Bel) 45 Dimitri Michielsen (Bel) 46 Rutger La Haye (Bel) Starters: 47 Classified: 46 Amateurs and Masters A 1 Sven Raeymakers (Bel) 41.21 2 Koen Diels (Bel) 3 Nico Schroyen (Bel) 4 Lino Colombo (Bel) 5 Timmy Maes (Bel) 6 Tim Goris (Bel) 7 Hans Van den Bogaert (Bel) 8 Ken Smets (Bel) 9 Gijs Jongeling (Ned (Bel) 10 Jeroen van Raak (Ned) 11 Jos Van Looy (Bel) 12 Jim Van Look (Bel) 13 Wim Lauwerijs (Bel) 14 Kris Ceulemans (Bel) 15 Glenn Boeckx (Bel) 16 Barry Vissers (Bel) 17 Arnold Schoon (Ned) 18 Steven Wuyts (Bel) 19 Cis Mauriën (Bel) 20 Frederiq Dobbels (Bel) 21 Kurt Loef (Bel) 22 Bert Nijs (Bel) Starters: 22 Classified: 22 Masters B 1 Wim Jansen (Bel) 41.21 2 Dirk Mertens (Bel) 3 Jeff Verbraeken (Bel) 4 Benny Van Staeyen (Bel) 5 Edwin Raats (Ned) 6 Frans Willems (Bel) 7 Eric Gys (Bel) 8 Peter Ballet (Bel) 9 Ronny Lambrecht (Bel) 10 Luc Van Looveren (Bel) 11 Ludwig Gladines (Bel) 12 Gerrit Segers (Bel) 13 Udo Janssens (Bel) 14 Mark Meys (Bel) 15 Kurt Cnudde (Bel) 16 Luc Peeters (Bel) 17 Luc Van den Bosch (Bel) 18 Erik Van der Sande (Bel) 19 Herman Diels (Bel) 20 Jos Verdeyen (Bel) 21 Mark Verloffelt (Bel) 22 Eric De Graef (Bel) Starters: 22 Classified: 22 Masters C and D 1 Danny Verhestraeten (Bel) 41.21 2 Mark Verloo (Bel) 3 Walter Marijnissen (Bel) 4 Patrick Sluyts (Bel) 5 Rudy Bloemmen (Bel) 6 René Swinnen (Bel) 7 José De Clercq (Bel) 8 Daniël Van Oosterwijck (Bel) 9 Ron Mertens (Bel) 10 Herman Cop (Bel) 11 Luc Huysveld (Bel) 12 Eric Van Steerteghem (Bel) 13 François Mertens (Bel) 14 Jan Guido Geudens (Bel) 15 Leo De Busser (Bel) 16 Jos Sas (Bel) 17 Ludovicus Van den Buys (Bel) 18 Marc Byn (Bel) 19 Luc Van Wesenbeeck (Bel) 20 Edward Lievens (Bel) 21 Herman Martens (Bel) 22 André Clemmen (Bel) 23 Rony Bollansee (Bel) 24 Wilfried Buysse (Bel) 25 Albert Bertels (Bel) 26 Marcel Geerts (Bel) 27 Wilfried Maes (Bel) Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee Veldrijden final standings
2005 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank 2004 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank 2003 Ben Berden (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 2002 Arne Daelmans (Bel) Vlaanderen-T-Interim 2001 Bart Wellens (Bel) Spaar Select 2000 Arne Daelmans (Bel) 1999 Sven Nys (Bel) 1998 Arne Daelmans (Bel) 1997 Paul Herijgers (Bel) 1996 Paul Herijgers (Bel)