by Bart Hazen of Daily Peloton

The Cyclocross of Niel is the second race for the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy (GVA). The first race was on the famous Koppenberg (November 1) and was won by Sven Nys ahead of Lars Boom and Niels Albert.

At today’s race, which was very tough due to the overnight rain and the strong wind, the same riders were expected to battle for victory again. World Champion Lars Boom had the best start and in the first lap he escaped the field with the two best Belgians: Niels Albert and Sven Nys. At the end of the first lap the three had already 28 seconds on a chasing group with amongst others Bart Wellens, Bart Aernouts and Sven Vanthourenhout.

In the GVA series there is also a intermediate sprint after two laps which is counting for the overall ranking of this series. Lars Boom took the sprint ahead of Albert and Nys. In the meantime, the gap on the chasers was still going up.

In the third lap of the seven laps, Boom increased the pace and Belgian Champion Sven Nys had to drop off the break followed by Niels Albert. Boom was going strong and with three laps to go his gap on Albert was already 14 seconds while Sven Nys was 34 seconds down. Bart Wellens and Sven Vanthourenhout riding in respectively fourth and fifth place were over a minute down by then.

In the final laps Boom didn’t make any mistakes while Albert was making some small mistakes on the tough and sometimes technical course. Boom took his second win of the season and also the overall lead in the GVA Series. 36 seconds later Albert finished as second while Nys completed the podium 1.02 down on his former team mate. Wellens and Vanthourenhout rounded off the top 5.

Today’s top five is the same top five as two days ago in the World Cup of Pijnacker.

The U23 race was won after a thrilling race by Kenneth van Compernolle. The young Belgian won ahead of Belgian Champion Tom Meeusen and Jim Aernouts. Americans Danny Summerhill finished 13th while U.S. Espoir National Champion finished in 27th.

Results Elite Men
1 Lars Boom
2 Niels Albert
3 Sven Nys
4 Bart Wellens
5 Sven Vanthourenhout
6 Bart Aernouts
7 Rob Peeters
8 Richard Groenendaal
9 Gerben De Knegt
10 Kevin Pauwels
11 Thijs Al
12 Dieter Vanthourenhout
13 Zdenek Stybar
14 Tom Van Den Bosch
15 Jan Verstraeten
16 Thijs Van Amerongen
17 Jan Soetens
18 David Willemsens
19 Nico Berckmans
20 Ben Berden
21 Davy Commeyne
22 Radomir Simunek
23 Tim Van Nuffel
24 Oscar Vazquez
25 Mariusz Gil
26 Marco Bianco
27 Magnus Darvell
28 Carlos Hernandez Garcia
29 Steven De Schoesitter
30 Andre Sutton
31 Bragando De La Fuente

Results U23 Men
1 Kenneth Van Compernolle
2 Tom Meeusen
3 Jim Aernouts
4 Stef Boden
5 Arnaud Jouffroy
6 Joeri Adams
7 Quentin Bertholet
8 Kevin Cant
9 Sven Verboven
10 Dave De Cleyn
11 Gianni Denolf
12 Philipp Walsleben
13 Daniel Summerhill
14 Lukas Kloucek
15 Jan Denuwelaere
16 Dries Dewit
17 Wim Leemans
18 Mitchell Huenders
19 Mattias Nilsson
20 Kristof Cop
21 Robby Cobbaert
22 Sven Beelen
23 Danny Lacroix
24 Robert Gavenda
25 Vincent Baestaens
26 Mauro Gonzalez Fontana
27 Bjorn Selander
28 Simon Geets
29 Laurent Moulin
30 Bart Hermans
31 Tom Desmet
32 Rudy Kowalski
33 Kenneth Speltincx
34 Ricardo Robben
35 Joachim Janssens
36 Christophe Delvaux
37 Dimi Diels
38 Jan Van Dael
39 Kevin Eeckhout