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8th Grote Prijs Sven Nys (Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee Veldrijden #6) - C2
Baal, Belgium, January 1, 2007
Nys holds off young wolves on home soil
UCI-leader wins his own race for the sixth time
By Brecht Decaluwé
Sven Nys (Rabobank) was ill in Loenhout and could have lost ground in the overall GvA-trophy rankings but with another big victory Nys once again turns out to be the winner of the weekend. The Belgian is now almost certain to claim the overall win in the prestigious GvA-trophy.
Despite the fact that Sven Nys is only 30 years old, he may have felt slightly older today as his main opposition came from two youngsters; Lars Boom (Rabobank) turned 21 two days ago while Niels Albert (Palmans) needs to wait one more month to reach that age. After three laps in the puddle of mud near Baal it was almost certain the winner would be one of these riders. Eventually Nys proved to be the strongest of the three and grabbed his twentieth win of the season.
"This was a real battlefield where I rode against two motivated young guys," said Nys, referring to the mud and his young rivals. "I felt that I could make the difference on the tougher sections; hopefully the national championships will be on a similar course next week. Then the best one will win for sure and I'll be able to live with that, whoever might win it."
Niels Albert is - just like Nys - a citizen from Baal but today he lost a prestige battle against his future rival at the U23 world championships, Lars Boom. "Today I wanted to improve my position in the GvA-trophy," Albert said. When asked whether he or Boom would become world champion Albert joked the question away answering "Stybar!" referring to the current U23 world champion.
Dutch ace Lars Boom couldn't repeat last year's win but as he did some stoppage work for his team mate it was obvious that Boom wasn't disappointed with his second place. "It's good that Nys won and not that other guy from Baal," he said, making clear his not great friends with Albert. "I had a surplus of energy and when I went full-on Albert couldn't follow me."
Recently, Albert said it was sad to see a rider like Boom in cyclo-cross because he competes in so few races and concentrates on the road. "I like cyclo-cross very much, so maybe I'll do more races next year," Boom told Sporza TV.
Behind the three protagonists, Bart Wellens (Fidea) rode an impressive race. After a bad start, he collided with Gerben De Knegt (Rabobank) and crashed on a wooden post. "I smashed on that post with my chest and my knees," Wellens explained. "Thanks to spectators - helpful fans of Sven Nys - I got back on my bike. I gave everything I had to make something from the race."
From last position Wellens got back to fourth which allowed him to maintain second position in the general classification of the GvA-trophy, trailing Nys by 21 points but still 13 ahead of Albert.
Despite the 1-2 from Nys and Boom, other Rabobank riders failed to perform; Bart Aernouts abandoned with gear problems, Richard Groenendaal crashed several times and finished eleventh while Gerben De Knegt finished ninth.
Four Fidea-riders were riding together behind Nys, Boom and Albert, but Wellens, Erwin Vervecken, Zdenek Stybar and Kevin Pauwels failed to bridge up to the leaders.
Sunweb-Projob, the newly formed team with riders like Sven Vanthourenhout, Tom Vannoppen and David Willemsens were spotted in their flashy yellow outfits at the start, but as more mud got on their shirts they got more and more out of sight in the race. Vanthourenhout was the highest placed finisher in twelfth.
How it unfolded
Sven Nys had the best start together with Radomir Simunek Jr (Palmans) and David Willemsens (Sunweb). At the 180 degree turn, Bart Aernouts (Rabobank) lost an enormous amount of places getting stuck at the post on the inside of the corner. Halfway through that first lap Wellens and De Knegt crashed - with Wellens being thrown back to last position.
Out front, Lars Boom jumped away together with his team mate Sven Nys leaving Vervecken, Albert, Simunek, Groenendaal, Pauwels and Soetens trailing at 15 seconds. During the second lap Nys had a flat tubular and he collided with a mechanic in the technical zone, leaving Boom to ride alone at the head of affairs. Meanwhile Albert went in search of the two leaders.
Wellens gained a whole 20 positions during lap two and was back in twelfth position, 45 seconds behind Boom. At the end of the lap Nys and Albert rejoined Boom in the lead.
While Wellens was bridging up towards the group behind the three leaders, Groenendaal crashed in the mud and Aernouts had gearing problems just after the pit area, forcing him to abandon.
With five laps to go, Boom allowed Nys to get a few metres and the master of mud was gone. Behind them a group of five had formed including four Fidea riders: Vervecken, Stybar, Pauwels and Wellens, together with Maxime Lefèbvre (Josan). Meanwhile another Fidea rider - Petr Dlask - ended his day by abandoning the race after falling more than two minutes behind the leaders.
Boom almost got away from Albert while Nys was 15 seconds ahead of the two youngsters. A few moments after Albert got back to Boom, the Dutchman accelerated again and was gone. At the end of the fifth lap Boom joined Nys in the lead with Albert at 16 seconds; the Fidea-group was more than one minute down on the Rabobank tandem.
During the penultimate lap, Nys was clearly stronger than Boom, distancing him on the climb. Behind them Lefebvre got dropped from the Fidea-group, as did Pauwels. Going into the last lap Boom was already 12 seconds down on Nys but he still had a safe advantage on Albert. Wellens and Vervecken tried to get closer to Albert but were unable to close the gap.
Nys worked his way through the mud towards his sixth victory in Baal (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 & 2005), with Boom being a strong number two at 17 seconds. Albert didn't push hard during the final lap and claimed third. Wellens got away from Vervecken and managed to preserve his good ranking in the GvA-trophy.
Pauwels finished just ahead of Maxime Lefèbvre but it remains a question whether the results of the French rider will stand after he missed a drug test in Middelkerke. U23 world champion Zdenek Stybar, De Knegt and Wilant Van Gils concluded the top-10 in Baal.
Elite and under 23 men 1 Sven Nys (Bel) 58.27 2 Lars Boom (Ned) 0.17 3 Niels Albert (Bel) 0.48 4 Bart Wellens (Bel) 1.06 5 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) 6 Kevin Pauwels 7 Maxime Lefebvre (Fra) 8 Zdenek Stybar (Tsj) 9 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) 10 Wilant van Gils (Ned) 11 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) 12 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) 13 Arne Daelmans 14 Thijs Al (Ned) 15 Jan Soetens 16 Rob Peeters 17 Jan Verstraeten 18 Dieter Vanthourenhout 19 David Willemsens 20 Peter Van Santvliet 21 Kenny Geluykens 22 Maarten Nijland 23 Wim Jacobs 24 Davy Coenen 25 Maxime Debusschere 26 Jan Van Dael 27 Quentin Bertholet 28 Kenneth Van Compernolle 29 Geert Van Crombruggen 30 Bart Verschueren 31 Kevin Van Hoovels Juniors 1 Vincent Baestaens (Baal-Tremlo) 41.35 2 Sven Verboven 0.35 3 Daniel Summerhill (USA) 0.39 4 Jiri Polnicky (Tsj) 0.54 5 Marcel Meisen (Dui) 1.47 6 Vincent Meyvis, 7 Kevin Smit (Ned) 8 Jonathan McEvoy (GBr) 9 Simon Geets 10 Jochen Torfs 11 Stijn Mortelmans 12 Pieter-Jan Pirotte 13 Jerome Townsend (USA) 14 Sean Worsech (USA) 15 Sven Beelen 16 Kenny Maes 17 Thomas Van Calster 18 Jim Lennon (USA) 19 Stijn Van Driessche 20 Lorenzo Messine 21 Dimi Diels 22 Hilde Quintens 23 Jeffrey Depuydt Beginners 1 Sean De Bie (Wiekevorst) 30.37 2 Corné van Kessel (Ned) 1.35 3 Radek Polnicky (Tsj) 1.36 4 Robin De Cnodder 1.50 5 Gerry Druyts 2.45 6 Hendrik Sweeck 7 Daan Meijers (Ned) 8 James Laureys 9 Jens Costers 10 Van Ree (Ned) 11 Bert Noterman 12 Karl Peeters 13 Thomas Verbeeck 14 Nils Heyns 15 Kristof Van den Eynde 16 Jens Van den Bosch 17 Ritchie Denolf 18 Christophe Ysenbaardt 19 Toni Geeraerts 20 Rutger La Haye 21 Martijn Pastoors (Ned) 22 Jeffrey Mellemans 23 Koen Vandeput 24 Gijs Schefferlie (Ned) 25 Jens Vanderveken 26 Robin Delanghe 27 Gianni Vermeersch 28 Bruce Dalton (GBr) 29 Glenn Coenen 30 Dieter Peeters 31 Manuel Timmermans 32 Clint Van Droorgenbroeck Tussenspurt 1 Sven Nys 3 pts 2 Lars Boom 2 3 Niels Albert 1 GvA Trophee standings (after 6 events) Elite men 1 Sven Nys (Bel) 205 pts 2 Bart Wellens (Bel) 184 3 Niels Albert (Bel) 171 4 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) 160 5 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) 156 6 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) 152 7 Zdenek Stybar (Tsj) 133 8 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) 132 9 Wilant van Gils (Ned) 101 10 Bart Aernouts 99 11 David Willemsens 97 12 Thijs Al (Ned) 87 13 Maxime Lefebvre (Fra) 85 14 Kevin Pauwels 83 15 Jan Verstraeten 82 16 Petr Dlask (Tsj) 81 17 Arne Daelmans 77 18 Jan Soetens 54 19 Tim Van Nuffel 50 20 Davy Commeyne 44 21 Klaas Vantornout 43 22 Maarten Nijland (Ned) 40 23 Kamil Ausbuher (Tsj), Radomir Simunek (Tsj) en Peter Van Santvliet 39 26 John Gadret (Fra) 31 27 Nico Berckmans en Wim Jacobs 26 29 Simon Zahner (Zwi) 19 30 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) 18 31 Isaac Suarez (Spa) 17 32 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) 13 33 Stijn Penne en Camiel van den Bergh (Ned) 12 35 Jorn Van der Veken en Ryan Trebon (USA) 11 37 Marek Cichosz (Pol) 10 38 Florian Vogel (Zwi) 9 39 David Meys 8 40 Davy Coenen 7 41 Paul Voss (Dui) 5 42 Roel van Houtum (Ned), Mariusz Gil (Pol), Gerry Werckx en Marco Bianco (Ita) 4 46 Geert Wellens en Jeremy Powers (USA) 3 48 Françis Mourey (Fra) 2 49 Michael Müller (Zwi), Jimmy Tielens, Christophe Roodhooft en Tom Vannoppen 1 Under 23 Men 1 Dieter Vanthourenhout 118 pts 2 Rob Peeters 110 3 Kenny Geluykens 77 4 Tom Van den Bosch en Quentin Bertholet 45 6 Jempy Drucker (Lux) 34 7 Bart Verschueren 33 8 Ondrej Bambula (Tsj) 24 9 Lukas Kloucek (Tsj), Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) en Maxim Debusschere 20 12 Philipp Walsleben (Dui) 19 13 Clément L’Hotellerie (Fra), Yves Corminboeuf (Zwi) en Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) 17 16 Boy van Poppel (Ned) 14 17 Kay Van den Brande 13 18 Stijn Huys, Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) en Frantisek Kloucek (Tsj) 12 21 Rik van IJzendoorn (Ned) 11 22 Dries Govaerts en Frank Sikking (Ned) 10 24 Jo Pirotte en Ricardo van der Velde (Ned) 9 26 Gianni Denolf, Jan Arnouts, Rafael Visinelli (Ita) en Jan Van Dael 8 30 Thomas Vernaeckt, Laurens De Vreese en Davide Malacarne (Ita) 7 33 Daan de Jonge (Ned) en Kristof Luyten 6 35 Mitchell Huenders (Ned) 5 36 Hans Becking (Ned) en Dennis Verhoeven 4 38 Sylwester Janiszewski (Pol), Dave De Cleyn en Kenneth Van Compernolle 3 41 Dawid Romanowski (Pol), Pieter Reekmans, Ian Bibby (GBr) en Geert Van Crombruggen 2 45 David Bertram (GBr) en Julien Taramarcaz (Zwi) 1 Tussenspurten 1 Sven Nys 10 pts 2 Bart Wellens en Dieter Vanthourenhout 8 4 Niels Albert 5 5 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) 4 6 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) en Rob Peeters 3 8 John Gadret (Fra), Ondrej Bambula (Tsj), Kenny Geluykens en Lars Boom (Ned) 2 12 Bart Aernouts, Lukas Kloucek (Tsj), Tom Van den Bosch, Zdenek Stybar (Tsj), Yves Corminboeuf (Zwi) 1
2006 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank