|Cyclingnews TV News Tech Features Road MTB BMX Cyclo-cross Track Photos Fitness Letters Search Forum|
Grote Prijs Pro Cycling Neerpelt - C2
Neerpelt, Belgium, October 8, 2006
Junior Albert beats the best in Neerpelt
By Brecht Decaluwé
20 year-old Niels Albert (Palmans-Collstropp) showed more than a glimpse of his talent in sunny Neerpelt, Belgium. He won today's GP Pro Cycling Neerpelt on a very technical course where the riders needed to jump on and off their bikes quite a lot. Despite the attacks of the Fidea teammates Vervecken and Bart Wellens, he never faded and responded in great style.
"I just wanted to show myself today because this race is the first one with live TV-coverage in Belgium," he laughed. "And I think I succeeded in that. I felt very strong today. When I noticed that Sven Nys wasn't on my wheel anymore, I gave it all I had."
Bart Wellens and Sven Nys (Rabobank) had to sprint for second place and almost hooked into each other. Bart Wellens laughed at the incident: "There wasn't much going on there, and I think if Nys gets the chance he'll do the same next time."
Wellens had a good race and with four laps to go he was in a good position to win the race. "I was alone in front but I noticed that Albert and Nys were working together very well behind me."
Sven Nys constantly looked comfortable but in the end he had to settle for third place. "Niels Albert was just the best rider today," Nys admitted. "During the last lap I felt that I had to let go of him. Then I gambled that I could beat Wellens in the sprint."
The technical course wasn't the cup of tea for world champion Erwin Vervecken, although he was leading the race for a while. Suddenly the Belgian tumbled from second to fourth place: "I got stuck in the sand and in an attempt to gain back the lost ground I fell on a descent. I never got back in my rhythm," Vervecken explained.
How it unfolded
The best start in Neerpelt was for Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank) and Zdenek Stybar (Fidea). Their work in front created a leading group of nine riders with all favourites present. Petr Dlask (Fidea) crashed and couldn't hold on very long. After four laps the speed went up brutally and the front group exploded. Wellens led the charge followed by Vervecken, Stybar and Vanthourenhout (Rabobank). UCI-leader Sven Nys, Gerben De Knegt and Niels Albert were trailing at eight seconds.
By halfway, Wellens and Vervecken distanced themselves as Stybar and Vanthourenhout completely disappeared from the picture. The Fidea teammates held on for a while but with three laps to go they seemed to have blown up their engine as well. Erwin Vervecken crashed and Niels Albert came back to the front with Sven Nys on his wheel. Wellens and Vervecken immediately had to let go of the new leaders.
In the final laps it looked like Nys was waiting for a good moment to accelerate away from Albert. Probably the race was one lap too long for Sven Nys, as he surprisingly had to let Albert ride away. Niels Albert was the only one who could keep going very fast during that last lap, grabbing a very nice victory. Nys waited for Bart Wellens and they sprinted for second place. Nys tried to cut the last corner but almost hit a fence, allowing Wellens to take second place. World champion Erwin Vervecken outsprinted Gerben De Knegt for fourth place.
Elite Men 1 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 2 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.34 3 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank 0.40 4 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 1.18 5 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 6 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 1.48 7 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Rabobank 2.09 8 Wilant Van Gils (Ned) ZZPR.nl 2.44 9 Petr Dlask (Cze) AVB Asbestverwijdering 3.26 10 Marek Cichosz (Pol) 3.43 11 Maxime Lefebvre (Fra) 4.10 12 Ronald Mutsaars (Ned) 4.41 13 David Seco Amundarain (Spa) 5.00 14 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) 5.19 15 Peter Van Santvliet (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 5.29 16 Marco Bianco (Ita) 5.31 17 Thorsten Struch (Ger) 18 Jorn Van Der Veken (Bel) Profel Cycling Team 6.13 19 David Meys (Bel) Profel Cycling Team 20 Tom Vannoppen (Bel) 21 Kristof Roodhooft (Bel) 22 Gerry Werckx (Bel) 23 Greg Reain (Can) Stevens Racing Team 24 Geert Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 25 David Romanowski (Pol) Juniors 1 Joeri Adams (Bel) 2 Stef Boden (Bel) 0.09 3 Bart Hermans (Bel) 4 Marcel Meisen (Ger) 0.32 5 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) 1.06 6 Yannick Wydooghe (Bel) 1.23 7 Stijn Mortelmans (Bel) 1.36 8 Jochen Torfs (Bel) 1.59 9 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) 2.04 10 Tim Debusschere (Bel) 11 Jordy Beuker (Ned) 2.27 12 Marnic Dreesen (Bel) 2.37 13 Dimitri Stevens (Bel) 14 Pieter-Jan Pirotte (Bel) 3.04 15 Ruben Veestraeten (Bel) 3.35 16 Nick De Proost (Bel) 3.51 17 Kenneth Marien (Bel) 3.55 18 Ferdi Gerritse (Ned) 4.40 19 Mike Vreys (Bel) 20 Yannick De Witte (Bel) 21 Yannick Pauwels (Bel) 4.59 22 Stijn Van Driessche (Bel) 23 Simon Geets (Bel) 10.00 24 ? (Bel) 25 Nick Vanoverbeke (Bel) 26 Geert Peeters (Bel) 27 Katrien Pauwels (Bel) Novices 1 Enno Quast (Ger) 2 Daan Meyers (Ned) 3 Sieén Veestraeten (Bel) 4 Zeb Veestraeten (Bel) 5 Jorne Carolus (Bel) 6 Kevin Reynders (Bel) 7 Triston Martens (Ned) 8 Frederik Geerts (Bel) 9 Jens Adams (Bel) 10 Jeffrey Mellemans (Bel) 11 Dion Vanhommerig (Ned) 12 Rinze De Proost (Bel) 13 Koen Vandeput (Bel) 14 Sonny Volders (Bel) 15 Joris Tips (Bel) 16 Bram Van De Schoot (Ned) 17 Nick Seutens (Bel) 18 Jonas Weyens (Bel) Courtesy of cyclo-cross.info
2005 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cyclocrossteam