The Elite Men’s podium (L-R): Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team), 2nd; Sven Nys (Crelan-KDL), 1st; Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), 3rd. © Bart Hazen
OVERIJSE, BELGIUM – Sven Nys (Crelan–DKL) came back after a disappointing ninth place finish at Soudal Scheldecross Antwerp Saturday to take the win at the race nicknamed, “The mother of all crosses,” Vlaamse Druivencross Overijse. The win makes it Nys’ fourth straight Driuvencross Overijse victory.
It came down to four men in the end: Nys, Klaas Vantornout and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), and Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Devlopment Team).
The early lead group of 12 riders slowly whittled away under pressure from Nys, who decided to push the pace near the middle of the race. With three-to-go, four riders had made the selection and Nys backed off while Vantornout and van der Haar switched up the lead position. As the group crossed the line for the bell lap the four were still together, sizing each other up.
Vantornout tried twice to splinter the group, but to no avail. Subsequent mistakes by Vantornout, van der Haar and Pauwels played into the hands of Nys, who made the winning surge on the final decent.
Perhaps the most critical mistake came from Vantornout, who hit a post in the final turns of the race, momentarily holding up van der Haar and Pauwels. Although van der Haar surged around to recover the lost ground, there just wasn’t enough road left to make up the deficit.
Pauwels finished third followed by a disappointed Vantornout in fourth. Marcel Meisen (Kwadro-Stannah) finished out the top five.
“It was not really possible to make a gap today,” said Nys. “I felt for most of the race that I was the strongest but you need to have good tactics to win. Lars, Kevin and Klaas were really strong today too. In the last lap, I saw Lars took over from me, which is perfect so I can do something he doesn’t really expect. If I waited until the sprint, I would have lost to Lars and Kevin. To be honest, the only one I was afraid of was Lars today because of his speed and he is technically really good. But luckily, I could surprise him in the technical downhill on the last part of the course.”
The front of the Elite Women’s race shaped up similar to Saturday’s Scheldecross Antwerp, with Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) taking the win over an increasingly formidable Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP).
Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) took the early lead followed by teammate Sophie De Boer, Cant and Compton. A slip by De Boer allowed Harris to gain a temporary advantage, but first Compton, then Cant managed to power past.
Cant looked to be the strongest, climbing away from Compton at the beginning of the final lap, but Compton reeled the Belgian back in, taking the lead in the final turns before the finishing stretch, holding on for the win.
“If you go too hard early on in the race you won’t last, especially not on the climb,” said Compton. “I had a slow start but managed to get to the front after two laps. I kept the pressure on both Cant and Harris but Cant was really strong today. I don’t think I have ever seen her so strong. Cant attacked in the final lap and I had to give it all not to drop. In the descent I recovered and waited until the last corner to accelerate. It was good and a very exciting race to watch I think.”
Harris finished in third place followed by De Boer. Ellen Van Loy (DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team) claimed the fifth spot for the day.
2013 Vlaamse Druivencross Overijse Photo Gallery:
2013 Vlaamse Druivencross Elite Men's Results:
|2||Lars VAN DER HAAR||NED||1:00:43|
|7||Thijs VAN AMERONGEN||NED||1:01:18|
|21||Eddy VAN IJZENDOORN||NED||1:04:02|
|25||Patrick VAN LEEUWEN||NED||1:04:49|
|30||Micki VAN EMPEL||NED||1:05:53|
|32||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||BEL||1:06:13|
|33||Dave DE CLEYN||BEL||1:06:24|
|34||Tom VAN DEN BOSCH||BEL||1:07:02|
2013 Vlaamse Druivencross Elite Women's Results:
|4||Sophie DE BOER||NED||40:40:00|
|5||Ellen VAN LOY||BEL||41:09:00|
|7||Pauline FERRAND PREVOT||FRA||42:18:00|
|11||Asa Maria ERLANDSSON||SWE||44:12:00|
|13||Margriet Helena KLOPPENBURG||DEN||44:36:00|
|15||Stephanie DE CROOCK||BEL||46:01:00|
|18||Femke VAN DEN DRIESSCHE||BEL||46:57:00|
|21||Axelle DUBAU PREVOT||FRA|