Sven Nys leads Niels Albert through the sand at the GP Hasselt 2013 race. © Bart Hazen / Cyclocross Magazine
HASSELT, BELGIUM – Sven Nys (Crelan-KDL) took the win at GP Hasselt in a three-way sprint finish with Niels Albert (BKCP Powerplus) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) adding to his Bpost Bank Trofee series lead.
Despite a flat tire early in the race, Nys managed to make up ground and catch up to the front of the race being driven by Vantornout. Albert, who had a slow start, also moved his way up to complete the group of nine riders that had formed the front of the race by lap three.
Albert then initiated the acceleration that created the final selection. Nys, soon after, tried to take advantage of a bike change with an attack of his own. With two laps to go Nys tried again to break free in the sand pit, but Vantornout refused to let the World Champion go.
In the final lap, Telenet-Fidea teammates Corne van Kessel and Tom Meeusen managed to make momentary contact with the lead group but repeated attacks by the leaders and a tangle in a tight corner by Meeuseen brought the finish down to the three Belgians.
“You couldn’t really call it a sprint,” said Vantornout. “It was really a sprint of three dying men.”
“I didn’t had a real good start because I started with the wrong type of tires,” said Nys. “I have changed them during the first lap and than you loose some places and ground. When Niels moved to the front I knew I had to do something if I wanted to win the race. When I managed to bridge up to the front in the penultimate lap I knew I had a good chance to win.
“It was a real tactical course and Niels, Klaas and I were equal to each other. The tactics were very decisive today. You had to stay alert all the time and made as less mistakes as possible. In the final lap I knew I had to be in front before the last turn to have a chance to win. I thought Niels or Klaas would challenge me in the sprint but I think we all were tired after such a hard race.”
Noticeable at Hasselt was the brake choice of both Nys and Albert. Both racers dabbled with disc brakes earlier this year and you can read about their impressions in our European Disc Brake Double Take Report. Cantilever brakes, however, were the choice for both racer’s at this race.
In the Elite Women’s race, Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) took the win ahead of Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) after a race-long battle between the two, after Wyman took an early lead. Cant slowly reeled in Wyman over the course of the race and by the final lap the two were together. The two national champions battled each other through the sandpits but it was Cant who was able to open up on final sprint for the victory.
Sanne Cant working her way therough the sand. © Bart Hazen / Cyclocross Magazine
Behind them the race for third was going on between Brits Gabby Durrin (Rapha-Focus) and Nkki Harris (Telenet-Fidea), who had themselves managed to break away from the rest of the field. In the end Harris could not respond as Durrin launched her own sprint just behind the leaders to round out the podium. Wyman’s second place finish moves her up over Harris to take the lead of the Bpost Bank Trofee series.
“I am very satisfied with my fifth win of the season,” said Cant. “I am now second overall on GC, 32 seconds down on Wyman. This is still do-able but I am not really looking to that classification yet. If I am still in front in the final two races I will focus on that. First we will get several beautiful cross races in a row where I want to do well. The feeling is better and better week by week and I know I still didn’t reach my top level. It only can get better.”
2103 GP Hasselt Photo Gallery:
2013 GP Hasselt Elite Men’s Results:
|5||Corne VAN KESSEL||NED||1:00:14|
|9||Thijs VAN AMERONGEN||NED||1:00:24|
|18||Aitor HERNANDEZ GUTIERREZ||ESP||1:01:43|
|19||Twan VAN DEN BRAND||NED||1:01:46|
|23||Egoitz MURGOITIO REKALDE||ESP||1:02:11|
|25||Eddy VAN IJZENDOORN||NED||1:02:35|
|29||Micki VAN EMPEL||NED||1:02:59|
|30||Javier RUIZ DE LARRINAGA IBANEZ||ESP||1:03:21|
|32||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||BEL||1:03:34|
|42||Michel VUELTA IZQUIERDO||ESP|
2013 GP Hasselt Elite Women’s Results:
|6||Sophie DE BOER||NED||44:23:00|
|18||Femke VAN DEN DRIESSCHE||BEL||48:37:00|
|19||Margriet Helena KLOPPENBURG||DEN||48:43:00|
|21||Stephanie DE CROOCK||BEL||49:21:00|
|25||Meg DE BRUYNE||BEL||51:40:00|