MIDDELKERKE, BELGIUM – Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) took the win at Superprestige Noordzeecross Middelkerke, the final event of this season’s eight-stop series, soloing to victory 19 seconds ahead of Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games).
Meeusen and Pauwels were evenly matched until a decision to jump the barriers on the fourth lap allowed Meeusen to open a gap on his rival that continued to increase as the race progressed. The win propelled Meeusen to third in the overall points total for the series.
Meanwhile, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) came from a distant fourth place for most of the race to overtake Lars van der Haar (Rabobank Development Team) on the finishing stretch, 29 seconds down on Meeusen.
Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), who came into the day with a four-point series-lead over Nys didn’t have the race he had hoped for. After a slow start and then burning too many matches in an attempt to make up the lost ground, Albert finished seventh. Final points total put Albert and Nys in a tie with 101 points each, but the series title went to Nys to make it his 13th Superprestige series win.
Nys did not immediately know that he had secured the series win, believing that Albert was in sixth place. The series leader later commented that Albert had had a good season, as evident by the tie in series points.
“This race was like my whole season,” said Albert. “Close, but not close enough.”
In the women’s race Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Team) took the win ahead of Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP).
The pair separated themselves from the field early on, with Wyman gaining an initial lead of a few seconds. Cant recovered and moved to the front, only to be overtaken by Wyman on the second lap after making mistakes on some of the technical corners.
Strong winds at the coastal venue, combined with a course that already had few sections with which to recover, factored into the equation as Cant hit her limit and was unable to bring Wyman back, finishing 27 seconds down on the leader.
Third place went to local racer Jolien Verschueren (DNCS-Towereye), who surprised the crowd with a stellar performance, finishing 44 seconds down on Wyman.
Check out the gallery sent to us by UK-based F4 Photography:
2014 Superprestige Middelkerke Elite Men's Results
|4||Lars VAN DER HAAR||NED|
|6||Thijs VAN AMERONGEN||NED|
2014 Superprestige Middelkerke Elite Women's Results
|6||Ellen Van Loy||(Bel)|
|7||Asa Maria Erlandsson||(Swe)|
|8||Margriet Helena Kloppenburg||(Den)|
|12||Stephanie De Croock||(Bel)|
|13||Lindy Van Anrooij||(Ned)|
|17||Meg De Bruyne||(Bel)|