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10th Grote Prijs Sven Nys (Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee Veldrijden #6) - C1
Baal, Belgium, January 1, 2009
Race 3 - January 1: Elite Men
Nys shows off new jersey in Baal
By Brecht Decaluwé
A lot of new team kits were spotted in Baal but it was Sven Nys' jersey that received the most attention as he won the traditional first race of the new year in his hometown. It was Nys' eighth victory in his own GP. The race is part of the Gazet van Antwerpen trophy in which Nys now holds a secure lead over Bart Wellens and Zdenek Stybar.
"This was the most beautiful and toughest edition ever," Nys said. "Yesterday I was thinking a lot about this race and I absolutely wanted to win it."
In contrast to last year, the big crowds were offered a great duel on the frozen course between their local hero and the man in form from the Czech Republic, Zdenek Stybar. With less than three laps to go Belgian champion Nys had jumped away from a 10-man leader's group together with Stybar. After creating a 10 second gap on this chasing group, Nys started focusing on getting rid of Stybar, but he had his hands full succeeding in this feat. Despite a huge effort from Nys in the technical sections of the course during the penultimate lap, Stybar stayed glued to Nys' back wheel.
Eventually a chain problem from Stybar created the first gap of a couple of meters which the Belgian exploited to maximum advantage. Nys completed the last lap in the fastest time of the race, reaching a blistering average speed of almost 30 kilometers an hour on the technical frozen course.
"After the barriers I went full gas, taking a couple of meters, and I continued to take some risks. Reaching the stairs I had nothing left but from then on it's harder to come back," Nys said. "This has always been a great New Year celebration for me. I think the crowd has seen boring races in the past but I think the people could warm themselves up with this spectacle. I've got some good form going now," Nys said to Sporza.
After winning two races last week Stybar was a big favorite for the win in Baal. In the end he had to settle for second and the Czech champion explained he was more than happy with that. "Today I wasn't as good as in Loenhout and Diegem. I didn't have power. It was difficult for me to follow. Second place was the most I could get," Stybar said to Sporza. The key moment in the race occurred in the last lap when Stybar seemed to struggle with his bike. "I had a problem with my chain at the rear dérailleur just before the barriers and I ended up sitting on my frame. I lost ten meters and after losing contact with Nys' back wheel it was impossible for me to win," Stybar said.
Behind the two protagonists a five-man group sprinted for the remaining podium spot. Despite missing his start completely Niels Albert came back to the leader's group halfway the race. Teammate Radomir Simunek played team tactics in the final sprint by touching his brakes to make sure Albert could grab maximum points for the GvA-Trophy, while holding off Sven Vanthourenhout. Thus Albert finished third ahead of Simunek and a protesting Vanthourenhout. "I led the chase during the last two laps," Albert said," and I also started the sprint. I noticed Simunek would easily win it and thought I would finish fifth or sixth. Then he made a generous move by allowing me to finish ahead of him," Albert said.
Sven Vanthourenhout wasn't enjoying the move from Simunek and he didn't hide his annoyance at all. "Sven [Vanthourenhout] said we were dirty riders but he did the same with Simunek in Hoogstraten. A sprint is a sprint and I don't think we moved from our line," Albert reacted.
The win from Nys logically results in a bigger lead in the GvA-Trophy. With only two rounds to go it is unlikely Nys will lose out on the overall win, though Wellens and Stybar theoretically could still win the series as well. Thanks to Stybar's second place and the sixth place from Wellens it is more likely that there's going to be an exciting battle for second place in the overall classification. The next round of the GvA-Trophy will be held in Lille, Belgium on February 7, 2009.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 57.51 2 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 0.09 3 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus 0.25 4 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus 5 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Projob 6 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 7 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 8 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drinks Cycling Team 0.35 9 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Drinks Cycling Team 0.40 10 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus 0.55 11 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Wielergroep Beveren 2000 0.59 12 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 1.09 13 Wilant Van Gils (Ned) ZZPR.NL 1.10 14 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 1.13 15 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans 1.17 16 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Vacansoleil Cyclingteam 1.27 17 Ben Berden (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 1.40 18 Christian Heule (Swi) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 19 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 1.52 20 Mariusz Gil (Pol) 2.38 21 Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 3.07 22 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) 3.20 23 Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 24 Bart Verschueren (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 3.45 25 Brian Matter USA) 4.35 26 Troy Wells (USA) 27 Roger Hammond (GBr) 28 Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned) 4.43 29 Wesley Van Der Linden (Bel) 5.00 30 Tom De Kort (Bel) AVB Cycling Team 5.24 31 Jimmy Tielens (Bel) Team Saeco Heist O/D Berg 5.39 One lap behind 32 Koen Diels (Bel) V.Z.W. Royal Antwerp Bicycle Club Two laps behind 33 Steven De Schoesitter (Bel) Rudyco Cycling Team Three laps behind 34 Freddy De Meester (Bel) Rijschool AH - Gentse VS 35 Rene Mertens (Bel) MD CT Team 36 Kurt Loef (Bel) Team Saeco Heist O/D Berg Intermediate sprint 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 3 pts 2 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus 2 3 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 1 Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee standings after six races 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 206 pts 2 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 168 3 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 161 4 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 148 5 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 142 6 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drinks Cycling Team 138 7 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 116 8 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus 9 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus 112 10 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Drinks Cycling Team 105 11 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus 104 12 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago 99 13 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank 97 14 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 92 15 Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida 79 16 Ben Berden (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 73 17 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 71 18 Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 69 19 Petr Dlask (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 60 20 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof 54 21 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 53 22 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 50 23 Christian Heule (Swi) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 48 24 Mariusz Gil (Pol) 45 25 Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 43 26 David Willemsens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 35 27 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas 33 28 Marco Bianco (Ita) L´Arcobaleno Carraro Team 30 29 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Easypay Cyclocross Team 29 30 Wesley Van der Linden (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 28 31 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 27 32 Nico Berckmans (Bel) DCM-GB Vorselaar Cycling Team 24 33 Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drinks Cycling Team 21 34 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel 20 35 Jeremy Powers (USA) Cyclocrossworld.com / Cannondale 18 36 Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike 14 37 Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned) 38 Roger Hammond (GBr) 13 39 Marek Cichosz (Pol) 12 40 René Birkenfeld (Ger) Stevens Racing Team 12 41 Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles 8 42 Jody Crawforth (GBr) Arctic Premier 43 Oscar Vazquez (Spa) 7 44 Jimmy Tielens (Bel) Team Mega Saeco - Heist o/d berg 45 Bart Verschueren (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 46 Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team 6 47 Steven De Schoesitter (Bel) Rudyco Cycling Team 48 Andre Sutton (Can) Hardcore Cycling Club 49 Tim Heemskerk (Ned) 50 Brian Matter (USA) 51 Gusty Bausch (Lux) VC Diekirch 5 52 Stijn Huys (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus 53 Troy Wells (USA) TIAA CREF/Clif Bar 54 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 4 55 Magnus Darvell (Swe) Rietumu Bank-Riga 56 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Exe Jeans 57 Carlos Hernandez (Spa) 3 58 Freddy De Meester (Bel) Rijschool AH - Gentse VS 59 Jerry Kallenfels (Ned) Easypay Cyclocross Team 2 60 Ken Smets (Bel) 1 61 Tom De Kort (Bel) AVB Cycling Team Intermediate sprint classification 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago 11 pts 2 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank 7 3 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 6 4 Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus 3 5 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 2 6 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 7 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus 8 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drinks Cycling Team 9 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 1