by Scott Rosenfield
In a replay of yesterday’s contentious finish at Koksijde, Belgium, the tandem of Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb Revo) sprinted for the win at Superprestige Gieten but without any of Koksijde’s questionable tactics.
Instead, Nys took a move from track racing by starting his sprint early, forcing Pauwels to jump, and then restarted his sprint to win the race. Just as the sprint began, the duo was reached by Rob Peeters ( Telenet Fidea), the race’s early protagonist. Unable to contest the sprint, Peeters finished third, after a long and aggressive day of racing.
A featured rider throughout the race, Peeters proved to be one of the only riders able to consistently jump the barriers. After taking the holeshot, he and Zdenek Stybar (QuickStep) took advantage of their quick barrier clearance and nurtured a small gap through the muddy, technical switchback section.
Their lead was solidified after Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea) clipped his bike and was forced to enter the pits. This moment of error proved vital to the final outcome of the race as Peeters and Stybar managed to grow their gap by aggressively taking turns, even resorting to grabbing posts to stay upright.
With Meeusen disrupted and the field bottlenecked, Klass Vantornout (Sunweb Revor) reacted by attacking and managed to reach the lead group. He was immediately behind Meeusen during the mechanical, and the only rider to immediately make the junction.
Behind, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) moved to the front and clawed back the ten second gap. When the gap hit seven seconds, Nys upped his pace and the field shattered. By the time Nys reached the muddy switchbacks, he was solo and trailing the leaders by a scant five seconds.
But the chase proved to be long and difficult, and it took Nys an entire lap to close. When he did reach the front group, it looked as if they were going to be caught by the chase that was only 12 seconds back. Using this as an opportunity to bridge, Pauwels attacked and quickly reached Nys and the leaders.
Despite the slow chase, Nys looked strong and later told Sporza that it was part of the plan, “At first, I conserved my force. In the end, I was still fresh.” Pauwels looked to be fresher and more explosive, but he didn’t do much pace-making after reaching the leaders. He told Sporza he was feeling tired and was outclassed, saying, “Sven was stronger. I was in the beginning of a bad feeling in my legs. Perhaps due to the cyclocross in Koksijde.”
Rather than an attack, it was the mud that again proved to be determinant. In the final laps, several riders from the lead group hit the pits to change bikes due to mud. With a gap opened ahead of them, Vantornout and Peeters attacked to gap the chase. With a small lead established, Vantornout did the majority of the work as Peeters slowly drifted back to a hard-chasing Nys.
With the gap closed, Vantornout sat up. Nys and Pawiels instantly seized the moment and attacked. Stybar was forced to react, but he couldn’t reach the wheel of Pauwels and the gap hit five seconds.. Things were still touch-and-go as Meeusen moved to the front, but the chase proved futile.
Firmly at the front, Nys relentlessly attacked the turns and barriers. The chase couldn’t latch back on, but got close enough to allow Peeters bridge. The grimacing rider reached the duo of Nys and Pauwels before the sprint, forestalling any cat and mouse games.
On the left side of the road, Nys started his sprint early and falsely forcing Pauwels to jump. As Nys moved toward the center of the road, he jumped again for the win with Peeters finishing third.
Photos by Bart Hazen
1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 2 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb Revor 3 Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea 4 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Revor 5 Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team 6 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) 7 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabo - Giant Offroad Team. 8 Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus 9 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus 10 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink/ Leontien.nl Pro 11 Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus 12 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 13 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabo - Giant Offroad Team. 14 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team 15 Twan Van Den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 16 Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) 17 Vincent Baestaens (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 18 Niels Wubben (Ned) 19 Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team 20 Mitchell Huenders (Ned) 21 Simon Zahner (Swi) 22 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink/ Leontien.nl Pro 23 Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) 24 Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam de Rijke 25 Jan Denuwelaere (Bel) Style & Concept Cycling Team 26 Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole 27 Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb Revor 28 Martin Zlamalik (Cze) KDL-Landbouwkrediet 29 Kobus Hereijgers (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 30 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team 31 David K?ek (Cze) Cyklo Team Tbor 32 Stijn Huys (Bel) Orange Babies Cycling Team 33 Jordy Luisman (Ned) -3laps Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team -3laps Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze) -4laps Bas Stamsnijder (Ned) -6laps Sebasdtian Sattler (Ger) -8laps
U23 Photos by Thomas van Bracht
Gieten 2011 U 23 Results
Rank Name Nat. Age* Result 1 Lars VAN DER HAAR NED 21 49:14:00 2 Stan GODRIE NED 19 49:44:00 3 Mike TEUNISSEN NED 20 49:45:00 4 Arnaud GRAND SUI 22 49:49:00 5 Vinnie BRAET BEL 21 49:52:00 6 Tim MERLIER BEL 20 49:56:00 7 Corne VAN KESSEL NED 21 50:03:00 8 Emiel DOLFSMA NED 20 50:08:00 9 Wietse BOSMANS BEL 21 50:11:00 10 Tijmen EISING NED 21 50:16:00 11 Arnaud JOUFFROY FRA 22 50:22:00 12 Marek KONWA POL 22 50:22:00 13 David VAN DER POEL NED 20 50:22:00 14 Douwe VERBERNE NED 19 50:37:00 15 Micki VAN EMPEL NED 22 50:37:00 16 Gianni VERMEERSCH BEL 20 50:37:00 17 Gert-Jan BOSMAN NED 20 50:40:00 18 Jens ADAMS BEL 20 50:46:00 19 Karel HNIK CZE 21 50:48:00 20 Yannick MAYER GER 21 50:55:00 21 Lubomir PETRUS CZE 22 51:04:00 22 Matthias BOSSUYT BEL 21 51:19:00 23 Jan NESVADBA CZE 21 51:34:00 23 Jakub SKALA CZE 19 51:48:00 25 Tomas PAPRSTKA CZE 20 51:56:00 26 Henk Jaap MOORLAG NED 22 52:06:00 27 Michael BOROS CZE 20 52:16:00 28 Emil Arvid OLSEN DEN 19 52:33:00 29 Raf RISBOURG BEL 21 53:06:00 30 Diether SWEECK BEL 19 53:12:00 31 Marcel WILDHABER SUI 27 53:16:00 32 Kaj SLENTER NED 22 53:38:00 33 Sebastian MLYNSKI POL 20 34 Geert VAN DER HORST NED 22 35 Stefan POUTSMA NED 21 36 Kenny KASTELIJN NED 19 37 Bryan BOROWSKI NED 19 38 Axel DEKKER NED 20