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GP Neerpelt Wisselbeker Eric Vanderaerden - C2
Neerpelt, Belgium, September 21, 2008
Nys successfully switches back to cyclo-cross
By Brecht Decaluwé
For Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) it was the first cyclo-cross race of the season after his summer-long mission for a good performance at the Olympics cross country mountain bike race. Nys' performance in Neerpelt showed that he wasn't planning on riding cyclo-cross at a lower level. The Belgian champion won the UCI-race after an entertaining duel with his long-time rival Bart Wellens (Fidea). Czech champion Zdenek Stybar completed the podium at half a minute from the two protagonists.
The organization in Neerpelt lined up a nice starting field with only world champion Lars Boom and Sven Vanthourenhout not being present. The first one is taking a little more time than the others to start his 'cross season, while the latter is hoping to take a lot of UCI-points in the Czech Republic this weekend.
The start was quite important on the fast course in Neerpelt and Niels Albert missed the first corner and crashed. Nys had a good start and jumped away during the second lap. Stybar was the first to join him and then Wellens, Klaas Vantornout, Dieter Vanthourenhout, Erwin Vervecken and Nys' team-mate Rob Peeters bridged up as well. The latter started pulling in front of the group and as a result Dieter Vanthourenhout and Vervecken were dropped halfway through the race.
Wellens attacked and only Nys managed to follow the Fidea rider, with Peeters doing stoppage work in the background. Nys and Wellens seemed to be heading for a sprint until Nys managed to jump away on a short climb during the ultimate lap. The small gap that Nys earned was too much to close down for Wellens, and Nys captured his first victory of the season. Stybar won the battle for third place ahead of the surprisingly strong team-mate of Nys, Rob Peeters.
Nys was satisfied with his victory in Neerpelt. "It certainly wasn't the easiest victory of my career," Nys said to Sporza. "Wellens was strong today, he did a good job. The power is good, but I still need to adapt to the cyclo-cross techniques a little more."
Runner-up Wellens pointed out that he had done some additional training after last week's rather disappointing performance in Erpe-Mere, where he finished eighth. "This performance is a relief. I've got a good group around me," Wellens said.
Last week's winner Niels Albert was missing from the lead group due to a crash right after the start. Albert tried in vain to get back into the race and eventually finished eighth. After the race he showed some scrapes on his elbow and knee. "That's the least of my worries," Albert said to Sporza, "I'm short of breath and my ribs are hurting." The young Belgian clearly suffered from the pain and had to lie down; afterwards he went to the hospital for a check-up.
Albert closed down the top-8 that was riding within about one minute and a half of each other. The only notable rider that was missing in this group was Radomir Simunek. The Czech rider enjoyed heart rhythm problems during his build-up for the 'cross season but apparently his problems weren't keeping him from racing in Neerpelt. Nevertheless Simunek finished on an anonymous fifteenth place at 4'40" behind winner Nys.
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Images by AFP Photo
Elite Men 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 57.21 2 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.07 3 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 0.27 4 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 0.33 5 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 0.44 6 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.54 7 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Palmans Cras 1.07 8 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans Cras 1.17 9 Ben Berden (Bel) Revor 2.19 10 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Revor 2.23 11 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) 3.12 12 Jan Soetens (Bel) 3.32 13 Mariusz Gil (Pol) 4.05 14 Nico Berckmans (Bel) 15 Radomir Simunek (Cze) Palmans Cras 4.40 16 Tom De Kort (Bel) 17 Stijn Huys (Bel) Palmans Cras 5.50 18 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) 6.00 19 Geoffrey Clochez (Fra) 6.05 20 Marco Bianco (Ita) 21 Jerry Kallenfels (Bel) EasyPay 22 Kristof Luyten (Bel) 23 Steven Decaluwé (Bel) 24 Geert Wellens (Bel) 25 Arnaud Royer (Fra) 26 Florian Simonot (Fra) 27 Freddy De Meester. (Bel) Espoirs (38 starters) 1 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 47.38 2 Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Palmans Cras 0.37 3 Lukas Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb Pro Job 1.22 4 Jim Aernouts (Bel) 1.51 5 Quentin Bertholet (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 6 Kevin Eeckhout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 2.14 7 Jan Van Dael (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 2.28 8 Ivar Hartogs (Ned) 9 Dave De Cleyn (Bel) 10 Sven Verboven (Bel) Palmans Cras 2.38 11 Zeb Willems (Bel) 2.52 12 Dries Pauwels (Bel) 3.12 13 Kevin Cant (Bel) 3.22 14 Gianni Denolf (Bel) Palmans Cras 3.52 15 Geert van der Horst (Ned) 16 Jens Gys (Bel) 17 Kenneth Verdickt (Bel) 18 Thomas Boeckx (Bel) 19 Bart Hermans (Bel) 4.32 20 Kristof Zegers (Bel) 21 Kristof Cop (Bel) 22 Kobus Hereygers (Ned) 23 Jonathan Bervoets (Bel) 24 Danny Lacroix (Bel) 25 Arnaud Van den Abeele (Bel) 26 Roman Sedlmair (Ger) 27 Tom Desmet (Bel) 28 Vincent Van Hooste (Bel) 29 Jelle Brackman (Bel) 30 Thomas Gysbrechts (Bel) 31 Kenneth Speltinckx (Bel) 32 Sonny Vangerven (Bel) 33 Izquierdo-Sholtobriuk. (Bel) Juniors (23 starters) 1 Lars van der Haar (Ned) 44.00 2 Wietse Bosmans (Bel) 0.07 3 Zeb Veestraeten (Bel) 0.30 4 Jelle Lugten (Ned) 0.43 5 David van der Poel (Ned) 1.00 6 Bas Krauwel (Ned) 1.20 7 Mike Teunissen (Ned) 1.25 8 Rinze De Proost (Bel) 1.42 9 Dennis Coenen (Bel) 1.50 10 Sieën Veestraeten (Bel) 2.20 11 Frederik Geerts (Bel) 2.22 12 Flavien Dassonville (Fra) 2.30 13 Lukas Muller (Swi) 2.40 14 Daan Meijers (Ned) 3.20 15 Gert-Jan Opsomer (Bel) 4.35 16 Ingmar Uytdewilligen (Bel) 5.45 17 Jeffrey Mellemans (Bel) 6.00 18 Olivier Vandevijver (Bel) 9.00 19 Mathieu Philippe (Fra) Novices (17 starters) 1 Laurens Sweeck (Bel) 31.45 2 Douwe Verberne (Ned) 0.19 3 Diether Sweeck (Bel) 0.52 4 Jeroen Meijers (Ned) 0.53 5 Yorben Van Tichelt (Bel) 2.19 6 Daan Hoeyberghs (Bel) 2.24 7 Moreno Geerts (Bel) 3.19 8 Lars van der Zyden (Ned) 3.45 9 Gertjan Bervoets (Bel) 4.07 10 Gillian Veestraeten (Bel) 11 Birger Vandael (Bel) 5.41 12 Jellen Schiettecatte (Bel) 6.00 13 Jan-Bart Opsomer (Bel) 7.51 14 Eelke van der Horst (Ned) 7.58 15 Tim Leenaers (Bel) 16 Lana Verberne (Ned) 17 Matthias Demandt (Bel)
2007 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank Continental Team 2006 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans-Sapim-Collstrop 2005 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cyclocrossteam Past winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com