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Superprestige #8 - C1
Vorselaar, Belgium, February 18, 2006
Nys racks up number 27; takes Superprestige overall
By Brecht Decaluwé
An impressive season almost comes to an end as Sven Nys grabbed his 27th victory at the final round of the Superprestige series in Vorselaar. Before the race, it was already decided that the Belgian champion couldn't lose the overall Superprestige title. His only rival was Rabobank teammate Gerben De Knegt. If the Dutchman wanted the overall victory, he needed to win the race in Vorselaar and Nys had to finish out of the top 15 today. Without doubt, De Knegt knew he needed a miracle to make this happen.
With four victories (Vorselaar, Hamme, Gavere and Hoogstraten) and four runner-up positions, the "cannibal from Baal" was the best rider in the Superprestige races during the 2005-2006 season. A sixth overall victory in the Superprestige is the logical crown for Nys' consistency this season. Tomorrow, in Oostmalle, there is the last race of the season, which also concludes the GVA trophy.
Nys grabbed his third win in Vorselaar and didn't look like he had a hard race: "On the first lap, I felt that I was really good. I communicated what tire pressure I needed when riding through the pit lane. Afterwards, I only needed to choose the best moment to attack. I had no big trouble to gap the rest as everything went fluently. On the last lap, I could enjoy riding around solo without any pressure.
"Winning in Wellens' home place is something worth training and fighting for. Just like he would enjoy winning in Baal, were I live. I can look back to a very nice season. Sadly enough, I didn't become world champion, but I can't rewind time to change things. Vervecken had a super day and I failed."
Second placed Vanthourenhout was satisfied with his race: "Every year I arrive here in a position equal to another rider in the overall classification. For the first time, I can win that battle and take fourth position overall. My performance today satisfies me a lot because I know this is my real competition level. Sadly, I couldn't show this throughout the season."
On Tuesday, the 25 year old will decide on his future team. "My stay in Rabobank was really alright, but there is a lot of interest from other teams. For now, I don't know what to do."
Home town favourite Bart Wellens didn't have it in him to beat Nys. "Sadly, I couldn't win, but the best rider has won today, as Nys was the best for the whole season," he said. "I hoped to finish second but it was not to be. I ain't gonna party this evening because tomorrow is also very important. When I attacked and looked back, I saw only Rabobank riders. That moment I needed to continue attacking. When I got stuck in the mud I made mistakes I shouldn't make.
"After the season I need to see what I can do to get rid of my back problems. If we can find a solution, then next season will be my best in a few years. This year proved to be a passage to better things that are to come."
World Champion Vervecken commented on his poor performance, saying, "I was a bit ill last week but I wanted to defend my position in the Superprestige classification. But Vanthourenhout was stronger today and deserves that fourth place. Being World Champion compensates more than a bit for that loss."
How it unfolded
The race started with 68 riders, which is enormous for a cyclocross race. De Knegt did what he had to do. He had the best start and raced into the muddy woods. Nys showed that he didn't panic as he took over the command and immediately they developed an advantage over world champion Erwin Vervecken (Fidea). Pursuers Bart Wellens (Fidea) and Radomir Simunek (Palmans) were already distanced at ten seconds after only one lap.
Nys didn't continue his efforts, and this allowed Vanthourenhout (Rabobank), Wellens and Vervecken to come back. So, three Rabobank and two Fidea-riders rode together when the leading group arrived at the end of the second lap. Another Rabobank rider, Richard Groenendaal, also succeeded in joining the leaders together with American Jonathan Page.
Bart Wellens decided that the pace was set to slow and put up a series of attacks. Halfway the race Wellens was riding alone with the three Rabobank teammates De Knegt, Nys and Vanthourenhout not far away. When Wellens got stuck in the mud, Nys and Vanthourenhout could easily distance Wellens and De Knegt. After those two, there were two other couples riding together, Wim Jacobs (Fidea) and Vervecken gapped Groenendaal and Page.
Sven Vanthourenhout desperately tried to stay in touch with the Belgian champion with two laps to go. As Nys kept a high pace, he rode away from his last contender and cruised to the victory.
The muddy paths obligated most riders to ride alone, constantly trying to find the best track. Wellens found his second wind as he went solo in the pursuit on Vanthourenhout. The young rider proved to be stronger today, as he didn't allow Wellens to come back to him. This way, Vanthourenhout grabbed his best result of the season in this Superprestige season. De Knegt settled for fourth position and couldn't threaten Nys' overall victory today.
Albert unbeatable in the espoirs
Niels Albert was the strongest man in the U23 race, holding off world champion Zdenek Stybar and Kevin Pauwels. Albert won all seven races of the Superprestige. Surprisingly, next season, the young talent will remain in the U23 ranks. "I'm still a young rider," he said. "But, it's not because I'm the strongest rider in the espoir series that I can compete for a complete season with the pro's."
Albert was wanted by a lot of teams, but will stay with the Palmans team for three more seasons.
Elite 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank 56.16 2 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Rabobank 0.10 3 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.23 4 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 0.42 5 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.52 6 Wim Jacobs (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 1.14 7 Jonathan Page (USA) Cervélo 1.20 8 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank 1.46 9 Radomir Simunek (Cze) 2.00 10 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 11 Wilant Van Gils (Ned) ZZPR.nl 2.19 12 Peter Van Santvliet (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 2.28 13 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Morgan Blue 2.34 14 Nico Berckmans (Bel) 2.39 15 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 2.49 16 Jan Soetens (Bel) 2.54 17 Arne Daelmans (Bel) Chocolade Jacques - T Interim 3.04 18 Geert Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 3.33 19 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 3.51 20 David Willemsens (Bel) WC Vos Sportief Sint 4.00 21 John Gadret (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance 4.14 22 Christian Heule (Swi) Stevens Racing Team 4.42 23 Bert Vervecken (Bel) 4.59 24 Thijs Al (Ned) B & E Cycling Team 5.19 25 Cyrille Bonnand (Fra) 5.27 26 Darius Gil (Pol) Paged-MBK-Scout 5.34 27 Marco Bianco (Ita) 5.37 28 David Derepas (Fra) 29 Nico Clarysse (Bel) Saey Deschacht 5.41 30 Jean-Pierre Leijten (Ned) 5.47 31 Eddy Van Bouwel (Bel) 5.54 32 Joachim Parbo (Den) Cycling Aarhus 5.58 33 Camiel Van Den Bergh (Ned) Stevens Racing Team 6.06 34 Stijn Penne (Bel) 6.15 35 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor 6.18 36 Steven Gruwier (Bel) 6.42 37 David Laenen (Bel) 7.28 1 lap behind 38 Kevin Bossaerts (Bel) 39 Yoeri Beyens (Bel) 40 Jan Geerts (Bel) 41 Dirk Bertels (Bel) 42 Guy Bertels (Bel) 43 Romain Baele (Bel) 44 Erik Myngheer (Bel) 45 Johan Myngheer (Bel) Starters: 62 Classified: 45 Espoirs 1 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 49.25 2 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 0.20 3 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 1.30 4 Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 5 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) 3.00 6 Mike Thielemans (Bel) 7 Jempy Drucker (Lux) 3.05 8 Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) 3.30 9 Kenny Geluykens (Bel) 10 Rob Peeters (Bel) 4.00 11 Stijn Huys (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 6.00 12 Davy De Scheemaker (Bel) 6.05 13 Nick Sels (Bel) 6.30 14 Rik Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 6.32 15 Bart Senders (Ned) 6.35 16 Quentin Bertholet (Bel) 6.40 17 Matthias Onghena (Bel) 7.00 18 Gianni Denolf (Bel) 7.15 19 Jan Van Dael (Bel) 20 Clément L’Hotellerie (Fra) 21 Frank van Grootel (Ned) 8.00 22 Harm Vandekerckhove (Bel) 23 Koen van Grootel (Ned) 24 Florian Simonot (Fra) 25 Ivar Hartogs (Ned) 26 Jan Verhaegh (Ned) 27 Dylan Esmans (Fra) 28 Koen Boelens (Bel) 29 Tom Lambrechts (Bel) 30 Jan Mikkers (Ned) 31 Steffen Vanderhoydonck (Bel) 32 Victoria Wilkinson (GBr) 33 Tom Decock (Bel) 34 Daan de Jonge (Ned) 35 Dries Dewit (Bel) Starters: 38 Classified: 35 Juniors 1 Tom Meeusen (Bel) 37.56 2 Boy van Poppel (Ned) 0.25 3 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) 0.34 4 Dennis Vanendert (Bel) 0.37 5 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) 0.45 6 Jim Aernouts (Bel) 0.49 7 Marcel Meisen (Ger) 0.52 8 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) 0.53 9 Mitchell Huenders (Ned) 1.05 10 Joeri Adams (Bel) 1.13 11 Kevin Cant (Bel) 1.36 12 Kristof Cop (Bel) 1.50 13 Bart Hermans (Bel) 2.07 14 Edwin Arts (Ned) 2.18 15 Kristof Scheirs (Bel) 2.23 16 Yannick Wydooghe (Bel) 2.26 17 Dries Pauwels (Bel) 2.49 18 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) 2.52 19 Jeroen Dekkers (Ned) 3.04 20 Tim Debusschere (Bel) 3.10 21 Bart Bruyndonckx (Bel) 22 Wim Thijs (Bel) 4.09 23 Ferdin Gerritse (Ned) 5.43 24 Rob van der Velde (Ned) 25 Vincent Van Hooste (Bel) 7.33 26 Lorenzo Messine (Bel) 7.40 27 Frederick Catrysse (Bel) 7.51 28 Bart Lemmens (Bel) 7.58 29 Hans Bertels (Bel) 8.05 30 Kristof Van Winkel (Bel) 31 Jens Gys (Bel) 32 Pieter Bosmans (Bel) Starters: 32 Classified: 32 Novices 1 Sean De Bie (Bel) 31.46 2 Stef Boden (Bel) 3 Geert van der Horst (Ned) 4 Bart Barkhuis (Ned) 5 Kevin Smit (Bel) 6 Dany Lacroix (Bel) 7 Kenneth Mariën (Bel) 8 Michiel Dieleman (Bel) 9 Jochen Torfs (Bel) 10 Gerry Druyts (Bel) 11 Hans Antonissen (Bel) 12 Zeb Willems (Bel) 13 Sven Beelen (Bel) 14 Willem Van den Eynde (Bel) 15 Bert Vermeiren (Bel) 16 Ben Roach (GBr) 17 Ben Remijsen (Bel) 18 Kenny Maes (Bel) 19 Niels Van Craen (Bel) 20 Brian Ruytjens (Ned) 21 Dimi Diels (Bel) 22 Wietse Bosmans (Bel) 23 Erwin Van Dijck (Bel) 24 Kristof Van den Eynde (Bel) 25 Renzo van Ree (Ned) 26 Floris van der Sluijs (Ned) 27 Clint Van Droogenbroeck (Bel) 28 Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel) 29 Daan Meijers (Ned) 30 Rick van Deursen (Ned) 31 Dieter Eyskens (Bel) 32 Jesse Bloemmen (Bel) 33 Koen Vandeput (Bel) 34 Lennerd Van den Bleeken (Bel) 35 Pieter Beauprez (Bel) 36 Jens Van den Bosch (Bel) 37 Nick Vandenberghe (Bel) 1 lap behind 38 Geert Peeters (Bel) 39 Matthijs Van Loy (Bel) 40 Katrien Vermeiren (Bel) 41 Rutger La Haye (Bel) 42 Dimitri Michielsen (Bel) 43 Jelmer Snoeck (Bel) Starters: 45 Classified: 43 Final Superprestige standings Elite 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank 116 pts 2 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 99 3 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 94 4 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Rabobank 83 5 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 80 6 Petr Dlask (Cze) AVB Asbestverwijdering 52 6 Tom Vannoppen (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 52 8 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank 49 9 Wim Jacobs (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 42 10 Jonathan Page (USA) Cervélo 36 11 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Lampre - Caffita 35 12 Wilant Van Gils (Ned) ZZPR.nl 28 13 Radomir Simunek (Cze) 27 14 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 23 15 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor 21 16 John Gadret (Fra) Ag2r-Prevoyance 19 17 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 16 17 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 16 17 Peter Van Santvliet (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 16 20 Camiel Van Den Bergh (Ned) Stevens Racing Team 15 21 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) AVB Asbestverwijdering 13 21 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Morgan Blue 13 23 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank 7 24 Nico Berckmans (Bel) 4 25 Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Author Praha 3 26 David Willemsens (Bel) WC Vos Sportief Sint 1 Espoirs 1 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 120 pts 2 Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 95 3 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) 92 4 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 91 5 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 85 6 Rob Peeters (Bel) 62 7 Jempy Drucker (Lux) 56 8 Jan Soetens (Bel) 52 9 Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) 42 10 Kenny Geluykens (Bel) 37 11 Mike Thielemans (Bel) 31 12 Clément L’Hotellerie (Fra) 28 13 Maxim Debusschere (Bel) 17 14 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) 15 15 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank (Bel) 13 15 Frederik Herpol (Bel) 13 17 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) 12 17 Jan Van Dael (Bel) 12 19 Stijn Huys (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 10 20 Pirmin Lang (Swi) 9 20 Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) 9 20 Davy De Scheemaker (Bel) 9 23 Wim Leemans (Bel) 8 23 Rik Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 8 25 Rafael Visinelli (Ita) V.C. Bologna 6 25 Nick Sels (Bel) 6 27 Finn Heitmann (Ger) Stevens Racing Team 5 27 Daan de Jonge (Ned) 5 29 Felix Gniot (Ger) 4 30 Jeroen Dingemans 3 31 Rikke Dijkxhoorn (Ned) 2 31 Bart Senders (Ned) 2 Juniors 1 Tom Meeusen (Bel) 103 pts 2 Kevin Cant (Bel) 74 3 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) 73 4 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) 68 5 Boy van Poppel (Ned) 65 6 Dennis Vanendert (Bel) 57 7 Joeri Adams (Bel) 55 8 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) 53 9 Jim Aernouts (Bel) 52 10 Dries Pauwels (Bel) 43 11 Mitchell Huenders (Ned) 35 12 Umberto Atzori (Ned) 28 13 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) 19 14 Dave De Cleyn (Bel) 18 14 Marcel Meisen (Ger) 18 16 Remco te Brake (Ned) 14 16 Thomas Vernaeckt (Bel) 14 18 Dries Govaerts (Bel) 12 18 Nivard Van Acker (Bel) 12 20 Jordy Beuker (Ned) 11 20 Christian Cominelli (Ita) 11 20 Kristof Cop (Bel) 11 23 Björn De Decker (Bel) 10 24 Yannick Wydooghe (Bel) 9 25 David Schloesser (Lux) 8 25 Björn Sealander (USA) 8 25 Bart Bruyndonckx (Bel) 8 28 Geert van der Sanden (Ned) 7 28 Bart Hermans (Bel) 7 30 Rob van der Velde (Ned) 6 30 Sylvester Janiszewski (Pol) 6 32 Joel Bakker (Ned) 5 32 Frederik Catrysse (Bel) 5 34 Savié van Horik (Ned) 4 34 Dimitri Stevens (Bel) 4 34 Martijn Valks (Ned) 4 34 Tim Debusschere (Bel) 4 34 Edwin Arts (Ned) 4 39 Stephan Sprincke (Ger) 3 39 Jan Van Zeebroeck (Bel) 3 41 Richard van Loon (Ned) 2 41 Twan van den Brand (Ned) 2 41 Glen Verhaeghe (Bel) 2 41 Kristof Scheirs (Bel) 2 45 Thomas Chamon (Bel) 1
2005 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank 2004 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank 2003 Bart Wellens (Bel) Spaar Select 2002 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank