Niels Albert Dominates at GP Neerpelt

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Albert looked dominant once again. (Milan World Cup photo by Joe Sales)

by Dan Seaton and Bart Hazen

World champion Niels Albert, for the second time in two weeks, dominated the competition, winning the GP van Neerpelt on Sunday.  “This victory was for my manager,” Albert said after the race, “because he has lost someone.” Albert rode clear of the field early in the race and soloed to the finish on an unusually balmy September day in Belgium.  Of his efforts and manager Christophe Roodhooft’s loss, Albert said, “It’s very close to my heart and this is the only way I can support him.”

Second place finisher Zdenek Stybar who crossed the line some thirty seconds back from Albert in his first race of the season, told reporters that suffered in the early season heat.  “I could only follow [Albert] in the first twenty minutes,” he said. “Then I had a bad time. But I am very happy, it was my first ‘cross.”

Perennial favorite Sven Nys struggled in his first race of the season after a solid race at the Mountain Bike World Championships, finishing ninth, nearly two minutes back of Albert.  Nys, who struggled to find his rhythm on the ‘cross bike, told reporters that he made a number of mistakes during the race.  “Am I worried?” said Nys.  “No, I know what I’m doing. In October I will have to stand.”

Nonetheless, Nys told reporters that he was surprised by Albert’s form, “He had a great summer. I’ll do my best to bridge the gap in the coming weeks.”

Sunweb rider Klaas Vantornout finished third, nearly a minute back, while Czech rider Radomír Šimůnek crossed the line in fourth, just edging out Sven Vanthourenhout.

The U23 race was won by final year’s U23 Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea). Lubomir Petrus finished in second and Jim Aernouts completed the podium. Meeusen and Petrus rode in the lead for half the race. Due to a little mistake in a technical zone, Petrus dropped with Meeusen and the talented Belgian could take his first win of the season. His fourth win already in Neerpelt in his early career.

Full Results:

1 ALBERT Niels BKCP – POWERPLUS 1:00:03
2 STYBAR ZDENEK FIDEA :00:34
3 VANTORNOUT Klaas SUNWEB-PROJOB :00:59
4 SIMUNEK Radomir BKCP – POWER PLUS :01:08
5 VANTHOURENHOUT Sven SUNWEB-PROJOB
6 PAUWELS Kevin FIDEA CYCLING TEAM :01:34
7 VERSTRAETEN Jan KDL TRANS NV :01:40
8 VANTHOURENHOUT Dieter BKCP – POWERPLUS :01:52
9 NYS Sven LANDBOUWKREDIET-COLNAGO :02:01
10 VERVECKEN Erwin REVOR-JARTAZI CONTINENTAL TEAM :02:25
11 AERNOUTS Bart RABO CONTINENTAL TEAM :02:26
12 BIANCO Marco L´ARCOBALENO CARRARO TEAM :02:32
13 VAN GILS WILANT ZZPR :02:39
14 BERDEN Ben REVOR-JARTAZI CONTINENTAL TEAM :02:56
15 VAN LEEUWEN PATRICK HET SNELLE WIEL :03:05
16 VAN DEN BOSCH Tom RENDEMENT HYPO CYCLINGTEAM VZW :03:42
17 VAN AMERONGEN Thijs CT VAN VLIET EBH ADVOCATEN :04:00
18 GIL Mariusz VC LIEVESPURTERS :04:32
19 BAZIN NICOLAS :04:43
20 VAN NUFFEL Tim RENDEMENT HYPO CYCLINGTEAM VZW :05:12
21 DENOLF Gianni BKCP – POWERPLUS :05:17
22 VAN HEESWIJK ROY WV SCHIJNDEL :05:34
23 BERCKMANS Nico DCM-GB VORSELAAR CYCLING TEAM VZW :05:49
24 DE KORT Tom AVB – CYCLING TEAM
25 RONDELEZ Bjorn LINGIER VERSLUYS BEACHBIKERS TEAM VZW
26 KALLENFELS JERRY EASYPAY GROUP
27 WIND BRAM ORC JANVAN ARCKEL
28 DE SCHOESITTER Steven RUDYCO CYCLING TEAM
29 CAUWELIER Dries CYCLING TEAM CAUWELIER ROESELARE
30 DE MEESTER Freddy RIJSCHOOL AH – GENTSE VS
31 SOETENS Jan REVOR-JARTAZI CONTINENTAL TEAM
32 BERTHOLET Quentin FIDEA CYCLING TEAM
33 LEEMANS Wim BKCP – POWERPLUS

 

 

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