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Superprestige #2 - Hamme-Zogge - C1
Bollekescross, Hamme Zogge, Belgium, November 4, 2007
Nys continues his domination of the Superprestige
By Brecht Decaluwé
Sunday brought another Superprestige race and yet another demonstration of dominance by Sven Nys, the cannibal from Balen. Nys gained the maximum number of 30 points toward the overall series, beating young Zdenek Stybar by 21 seconds. Despite the defensive racing style from the riders during the first half of the race, a group of fifteen riders was alone in front. World champion Erwin Vervecken dropped away from the leading group when he suffered a mechanical.
After an attack from Richard Groenendaal four men got away including Nys, Wilant Van Gils and Stybar. Behind them Bart Wellens tried to come back but he never reached the leaders, mainly because Nys took over the command. The UCI-leader kept going; he first got rid of the two Dutchmen, and with less than three laps to go Stybar got dropped as well after a minor mistake in the sand pit.
Wellens, Stybar, Van Gils and Groenendaal got together behind Nys who kept developing his lead over the chasers. Nys eventually won his 40th Superprestige race with a 21 second margin over Stybar, who stayed clear of Wellens by just two seconds.
"If you can finish this, then you can understand that I've got a broad smile," Nys reacted after the race. "It was me against the rest, only Groenendaal wanted to take initiative but sadly enough he couldn't follow later on. Why is Stybar not co-operating?" Nys wondered. It seemed like Stybar couldn't follow and the Czech rider confirmed that on VT4 TV. "If I am dead then I can't go to the front," Stybar reacted in his typical broken English.
Nys' rival Belgian champion Wellens had a poor start and sat too far back when Groenendaal accelerated. "I couldn't suffer today; I hit the wall and couldn't break it," Wellens explained. "Third place was the best result possible today. I think I can't complain with third place on a bad day," the extroverted Wellens smiled.
World champion Erwin Vervecken eventually finished tenth despite his bad luck. Jonathan Page had a good start but dropped away as the race continued; suffering from illness, the American eventually finished 19th. "I tried to forget about my sickness and gave it all I had... but that proved to be less than it should be," Page commented to Cyclingnews. Sunweb team manager Jurgen Mettepenningen organizes this race, and seeing none of his riders in the top-10 didn't exactly make him smile on the podium where he accompanied winner Nys and Fidea-riders Stybar and Wellens.
How it unfolded
Forty four riders took the start in the Bollekescross and one non-starter was, not surprisingly, Frank Vandenbroucke. Three Fidea riders took a good start and they led the long bunch of riders over the fast course. Klaas Vantornout, Kevin Pauwels and Zdenek Stybar compensated for the bad start from their team-mate Bart Wellens who was riding outside the top-20.
Nys noticed Wellens wasn't there and he took over the command from Stybar to make it difficult for the Belgian champion. Jonathan Page started off well and rode in seventh position for a while. In the second lap world champion Vervecken came to the front but a mechanical sent the Belgian back to 25th position.
Thijs Al led the group during the third lap, which is very surprising since the former mountainbiker isn't going that well this season. It all showed that the speed wasn't really high. The leading group grew up to 20 riders - including Wellens - while Vervecken was chasing at 20". With Christian Heule leading the race during lap four, and Jan Verstraeten, Wilant Van Gils and Dieter Vanthourenhout on his wheel the speed dropped even more. In the sand pit Gerben De Knegt got stuck and caused a collision that resulted in a further selection of the leading group. Rob Peeters wisely anticipated the jam by running through the sand, passing the traffic next to him.
Halfway through the race, Richard Groenendaal decided to have a go and he caused the first real selection, taking Nys, Stybar and also his surprising compatriot Van Gils along with him. Klaas Vantornout and Wellens tried to join the leaders but as Vantornout quickly was confronted with sore legs, Wellens was in trouble at 10" from the leaders. Groenendaal chipped off 15" from the previous lap time, while World champion Vervecken rode together with Page at 30" from the leaders.
Nys took over the command during the sixth lap and he dropped Van Gils and Groenendaal, distancing Wellens a little more at 17". One lap later Nys made it clear to Stybar that he wouldn't lead him to the finish just like that and Stybar pulled a little for a while. By the end of the seventh lap Nys took over again while Wellens bridged up with the two Dutch riders.
While Klaas Vantornout dropped back, Nys was going for a record lap time of 5'47". Stybar got a little stuck in the sand and Nys needed nothing more to get rid of his Czech rival. Nys maintained his fast speed while Wellens tried to get rid of his Dutch companions. All these efforts resulted in a lead of 25" for Nys on the four chasers who got together in the penultimate lap. In an exciting last lap, Nys cruised to the victory while Groenendaal tried to surprise the Fidea riders. Eventually Stybar won the sprint ahead of Wellens and Groenendaal. Wilant Van Gils will be extremely happy with his fifth place; the Dutch rider never placed better in a Superprestige race. Kevin Pauwels beat his team-mate Petr Dlask, young Rob Peeters and Thijs Al for sixth place. World champion Vervecken beat Heule for a top-10 result. Jonathan Page finished 19th behind a disappointed Klaas Vantornout; Jonathan Baker was 29th.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by AFP Photo
Images by Luc Claessen/www.ctm-images.com
Elite (44 starters) 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank 59.41 2 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 0.21 3 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.23 4 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Sport Drinks 0.28 5 Wilant Van Gils (Ned) ZZPR.nl 0.35 6 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.56 7 Petr Dlask (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 8 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 0.58 9 Thijs Al (Ned) Combi Kennemerland / Bataaf 1.06 10 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 1.14 11 Christian Heule (Swi) Stevens Racing team 12 Radomír Simunek (Cze) Palmans Cras 13 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 1.17 14 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Palmans Cras 1.28 15 Ben Berden (Bel) Webking.be 1.33 16 Jan Soetens (Bel) 1.37 17 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Easypay Cyclocross Team 1.47 18 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 2.14 19 Jonathan Page (USA) Sunweb Pro Job 2.17 20 Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Palmans Cras 2.25 21 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 2.31 22 Wim Jacobs (Bel) Van der Vorst CT 3.35 23 Marco Bianco (Ita) 3.49 24 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Easypay Cyclocross Team 4.11 25 Rafael Visinelli (Ita) 4.15 26 Isaac Suarez (Spa) 4.21 27 Peter Van Santvliet (Bel) 4.41 28 Crespo Vazquez (Spa) 5.11 29 Jonathan Baker (USA) Primus Mootry 7.04 One lap behind 30 Thomas Onghena (Bel) Two laps behind 31 Steven De Caluwé (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 32 Sebastian Hannöver (Ger) RSG Lohne-Vechta 33 David Pena (Spa) Three laps behind 34 Martin Vestby (Nor) Time - Van Hemert 35 Johan Myngheer (Bel) VC De Zilverbergvrienden - Rumbeke Four laps behind 36 Steven De Schoesitter (Bel) 37 Bert Scheirlinckx (Bel) 38 Freddy De Meester (Bel) Rijschool AH - Gentse Velosport 39 René Mertens (Bel) 40 Erik Myngheer (Bel) VC De Zilverbergvrienden - Rumbeke Espoirs (36 starters) 1 Thijs van Amerongen (Bel) 50.00 2 Kenny Geluykens (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 0.31 3 Dries Govaerts (Bel) Scott USA Cycling Team 0.42 4 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Edegem BC 5 Gianni Denolf (Bel) 0.53 6 Jan Van Dael (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 1.37 7 Davy De Scheemaeker (Bel) 1.56 8 Kristof Cop (Bel) AWS Cycling Team Kasterlee 2.00 9 Kevin Cant (Bel) AWS Cycling Team Kasterlee 10 Bart Hermans (Bel) Balen BC 2.34 11 Kenneth Verdickt (Bel) Scott USA Cycling Team 2.36 12 Ivar Hartogs (Ned) 13 Jerry Kallenfels (Ned) Easypay Cyclocross Team 14 Dave De Cleyn (Bel) Scott USA Cycling Team 3.05 15 Nivard Van Acker (Bel) 3.11 16 Matthias Onghena (Bel) VZW Wielerclub Onder Ons Parike 3.41 17 Dimitri Stevens (Bel) 2 Mega Saeco - Heist o/d berg 3.44 18 Sven Verboven (Bel) 3.49 19 Marco Minnaard (Ned) 3.53 20 RobVan Der Velde (Ned) 4.19 21 Mauro Gonzalez-Fontana (Spa) 4.20 22 Hugo Ruis Martinez (Spa) 4.22 23 Dennis Verhoeven (Bel) AWS Cycling Team Kasterlee 4.57 24 Kjell Van Driessche (Bel) 5.49 25 Thomas Boeckx (Bel) Edegem BC 6.04 26 Alex Atkins (GBr) 6.12 One lap behind 27 Pierre Witkonski (Ger) 28 Steffen Müller (Ger) RC Charlottenburg 29 Vincent Van Hooste (Bel) Asfra Racing Team Two laps behind 30 Kristof Scheirs (Bel) 31 Lorenzo Messine (Bel) Cyclo Cross Team Waarschoot 32 Tom Decock. (Bel) Juniors (37 starters) 1 Lars van der Haar (Ned) 39.52 2 Kaj Slenter (Ned) 0.03 3 Zeb Willems (Bel) 0.04 4 Michiel Dieleman (Bel) 0.06 5 Milan van den Ende (Ned) 0.11 6 Simon Geets (Bel) 0.21 7 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) 0.36 8 Steven Galens (Bel) 1.03 9 Bart Barkhuis (Ned) 1.08 10 Niels Wytinck (Bel) 1.15 11 Bas Krauwel (Ned) 12 Angelo De Clercq (Bel) 13 Rob van der Heijden (Ned) 1.23 14 Bert Vermeiren (Bel) 15 Niels Koyen (Bel) 1.30 16 Zico Waeytens (Bel) 1.39 17 Kenneth Marien (Bel) 1.52 18 Ritchie Denolf (Bel) 2.34 19 Jelle Lugten (Ned) 2.43 20 Rinze De Proost (Bel) 2.49 21 Sonny Volders (Bel) 2.55 22 Pieter-Jan Pirotte (Bel) 2.59 23 Robin De Cnodder (Bel) 24 Thomas Verbeek (Bel) 25 Stijn Van Driessche (Bel) 3.22 26 Arnaud Van den Abeele (Bel) 3.35 27 Christian Weitermann (Bel) 3.51 28 Lennerd Van den Bleeken (Bel) 4.08 29 Sam Van Hemelen (Bel) 4.45 30 Maxim Danckers (Bel) 5.43 31 Hendrik Van den Bossche (Bel) 5.55 32 Jan Van Meirvenne (Bel) 33 Stijn Van Geyte (Bel) 7.54 34 Sam Van Uytvange (Bel) One lap behind 35 Jeffrey Dhaeze (Bel) Two laps behind 36 Kevin Callewaert (Bel) 37 Elien Vercamer (Bel) Beginners (40 starters) 1 Radek Polnicky (Cze) 33.00 2 Xandro Meurisse (Bel) 0.15 3 Laurens Sweeck (Bel) 4 Hendrik Sweeck (Bel) 0.36 5 Jens Vandekinderen (Bel) 0.40 6 David van der Poel (Bel) 1.13 7 Diether Sweeck (Bel) 8 Frederik Geerts (Bel) 1.36 9 Robin Van Goethem (Bel) 1.59 10 Tim Merlier (Bel) 11 Jeroen Eyskens (Bel) 2.23 12 Wilco van Beusecom (Ned) 3.03 13 Joeri Hofman (Bel) 3.55 14 Mark van der Heijden (Ned) 4.02 15 Nick van Dijke (Ned) 4.16 16 Kenny Bultynck (Bel) 4.31 17 Wannes Cauwenbergh (Bel) 4.46 18 Jens Saey (Bel) 4.53 19 Olivier Smet (Bel) 20 Glenn Coenen (Bel) 5.00 21 Maarten Vantryp (Ned) 22 Bryan Boronowski (Ned) 5.51 23 Yves Toussaint (Bel) 6.13 24 Laurens Van Gansbeke (Bel) 6.17 25 Kris Vermeir (Bel) 6.21 26 Baldwin Van Minnebruggen (Bel) 6.46 27 Robin Delanghe (Bel) 6.51 28 Bart De Zutter (Bel) 6.58 29 Jellen Schiettecatte (Bel) 8.31 One lap behind 30 Bryan Rossignol (Bel) 31 Stijn Lapiere (Bel) 32 Dylan Galens (Bel) 33 Jimmy Cornu (Bel) 34 Gianni Bordui (Bel) 35 Pieter-Jan Dhondt (Bel) 36 Matthias Demandt (Bel) 37 Charles-Etienne Lambert (Bel) 38 Nick Vliegen (Bel) 39 Maaike Lanssens. (Bel) Superprestige Classification after #2 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank Continental Team 30 pts 2 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 28 3 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 26 4 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Sport Drinks 22 5 Petr Dlask (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 15 6 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans Cras 12 7 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 11 8 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 11 9 Wilant Van Gils (Ned) ZZPR.nl 11 10 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Projob 9 11 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Easypay Cyclocross Team 8 12 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 8 13 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 8 14 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank Continental Team 7 15 Thijs Al (Ned) Be One 7 16 Radomír Simunek (Cze) Palmans Cras 6 17 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 6 18 Christian Heule (Swi) Stevens Racing Team 5 19 Jan Soetens (Bel) 4 20 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Lampre 3 21 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Palmans Cras 2 22 Ben Berden (Bel) Webking.be 1
2006 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank