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Superprestige #2 - Veghel-Eerde - C1
Veghel-Eerde, Netherlands, November 2, 2008
Race 5 - November 2: Elite Men
Albert outclasses opposition in The Netherlands
By Brecht Decaluwé
The Koppenbergcross never lies about the current form of the riders and thus the top three from Saturday featured again on the podium in Eerde-Veghel in the second race of the Superprestige Series. Weather conditions were much better than on Saturday and the speed was much higher, averaging 30 km/h up around the rubbish dump.
Niels Albert waited one lap before taking the lead in The Netherlands but once he moved to the front nobody was able to follow the young Belgian who finished third in the Koppenbergcross. Albert's solo withstood a comeback from world champion Lars Boom and yesterday's winner Sven Nys. Albert improved on last year's second place and grabbed his fifth victory of the season.
Local hero Boom easily won the sprint for second place ahead of Nys who complained about a sore back. Albert's victory moved him into the overall classification in the Superprestige Series, tied for first with Nys. Klaas Vantornout crashed when Nys and Boom jumped away and the Belgian had to settle for fourth place, resulting in a third place in the Superprestige Series.
"I knew I had to make the gap early on in the race as many riders would need some laps to get going after the hard race on the Koppenberg yesterday," Albert said. "Today I was feeling good and I know that with the right form I'm able to ride constantly at a fast speed; today that proved to be enough for the victory," Albert said.
Lars Boom had the support of the crowds as his hometown Vlijmen is located close to the course. The world champion tried in vain to get back to Albert when the latter attacked in the second lap and eventually Boom grabbed his second runner-up position in two days. "I remained at five metres from Albert and couldn't close the gap, he just went too hard for me," Boom said. "I felt good on the bike and I was able to follow the others swiftly. Leading the way wasn't going that smoothly, though, but I'm glad that I was battling near the front again; technically I'm riding better each race," Boom said.
Sven Nys dislocated his right forefinger during his Koppenbergcross win, but was able to start the race in Veghel. "I took the third place thanks to my good form but more wasn't possible today. My back was unlocked by the physiotherapist this morning but I didn't have any power there; my finger was well-taped in and I wasn't bothered by that," Nys said and pointed out that he was happy to see that Albert was providing good competition in the Superprestige Series.
With this victory 22-year-old Albert moved into the lead of the Superprestige Series, although he is sharing that position with living legend Nys. "Nys was my age when he won the Superprestige Series for the first time and my goal is to repeat that feat," Albert said.
American Jonathan Page swapped his red kit for a black outfit in Eerde-Veghel and he improved on last year's twenty-first position with a fifteenth place today. With that result he grabbed one point for the classification in the Superprestige Series.
How it unfolded
Radomir Simunek took the best start in Eerde-Veghel and the Czech led the long bunch through the woods. The first time the riders hit the climb of the old rubbish dump, Klaas Vantornout moved to the front and he created a small gap together with Simunek. By the end of the first lap Albert moved up towards the two leaders and he continued his effort once he had bridged up.
Simunek was dropped right away while Vantornout tried to stay on Albert's wheel. Rob Peeters noticed things were already happening and the young Belgian jumped away from the bunch in pursuit of Albert and Vantornout. The latter was then dropped by Albert. At the climb Boom overtook Peeters while Vantornout and especially Albert still had a gap on the chasers.
After two laps Albert had a couple of metres on Vantornout and Boom and ten seconds on the group of chasers led by Nys. Vantornout was caught by this group during the third lap and only Boom was still chasing Albert on his own. That solo chase ended when the world champion struggled on the climb.
From the fourth lap on Albert started increasing his lead as nobody felt it was possible to close the gap on his own towards the 22-year-old Belgian. About eleven riders were featuring in this main chasing group at about twenty seconds from Albert. Halfway through the race a counter-attack with Vantornout, Thijs Al and Nys got away at the climb while Albert had a lead of half a minute.
One lap later that attack ended for Nys due to a crash; the Belgian champion was trying to find some traction on the climb but the only thing he found was the tape that marked out the course in his shifting system. Bart Wellens tried to exploit this crash and he led the chasing group for a while, though not creating any gaps.
When Nys returned to the lead chasing group Albert's gap to them had grown to almost one minute. A few moments later Vantornout crashed in the drop from the climb and that allowed Nys to get away. Boom tried to bridge up with Nys and that didn't succeed too easily. Eventually the duo worked together in order to stop a return from Wellens and Vantornout, all of this far behind a cruising Albert of course.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Isosport
1 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans - Cras 1.01.35 2 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank 0.39 3 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 0.42 4 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 0.52 5 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.58 6 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 1.05 7 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 8 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 9 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Palmans - Cras 10 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 11 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 1.49 12 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 1.55 13 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 2.04 14 Petr Dlask (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 15 Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike 2.16 16 Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida 2.26 17 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 3.05 18 Ben Berden (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 3.19 19 Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 20 Radomir Simunek (Bel) Palmans - Cras 3.48 21 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof 3.53 22 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Drink - Be One 3.59 23 Geert Wellens (Bel) AVB-USSspa Cycling Team Kasterlee 24 Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 4.20 25 Oscar Vazquez (Spa) 6.10 26 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Bel) Het Snelle Wiel 6.17 27 Jempy Drucker (Lux) Fidea Cycling Team 6.34 28 Bjorn Rondelez (Bel) Lingier Versluys Beachbikers Team VZW 7.00 29 Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned) 7.14 One lap behind 30 Nico Clarysse (Bel) 31 Sten Raeymakers (Bel) Cyclingteam Oost-West VZW 32 Daan De Jonge (Ned) Josan-Mercedes Team 33 Patrick de Laat (Ned) 34 Micha de Vries (Ned) 35 Rik Adriaans (Ned) DNF Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team DNF Camiel Van Den Bergh (Ned) Rendementhypo Cycling Team DNF Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team DNF Wim Jacobs (Bel) Granville-Morgan Blue Cycling Team DNF Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team DNF Jerry Kallenfels (Ned) Easypay Cyclocross Team DNF Mathijs Wagenaar (Ned) Team Asito DNF Marco Bianco (Ita) L´Arcobaleno Carraro Team DNF Germon Peeters (Ned) Superprestige standings after two rounds 1 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans - Cras 28 pts 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 3 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 26 4 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 21 4 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 6 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 20 7 Thijs Al (Ned) 18 8 Lars Boom (Need) 14 9 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 13 9 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Palmans - Cras 11 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 12 12 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 8 13 Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 5 14 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Drink - Be One 4 15 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 3 16 Ben Berden (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 2 16 Petr Dlask (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 18 Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) 1 18 Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike