OVERIJSE, BELGIUM – After winning at Scheldecross Saturday, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) attacked to finish solo at Vlaamse Druivencross ahead of Bart Aernouts (Rabobank-Giant) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb) on a wet and muddy day of racing.
While Elia Silvestri (Selle Italia-Guerciotti) took the early lead, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) and Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) made the first substantial attacks of the day, gapping the field and forcing Aernouts to chase. The defending champion, Nys, was seven wheels back and unable to immediately respond to the attack.
After a series of crashes put the chase into disarray, Nys moved forward and closed the gap to the leaders. With five laps to go it was a three-man race for the win with Nys, Meeusen and Pauwels in contention. The threesome didn’t last long. Heading into the pavement, Pauwels ramped up the pace and dropped Meeusen who then flatted his rear wheel on the cobbles, allowing Aernouts to move into third.
With the two leaders choosing to slow up, Meeusen – after a bike change – and Vantornout were able to reach Aernouts and eventually regroup to form a five-man front group. For a few moments, the pace slowed as nobody drove the pace.
With three to go, Meeusen took the initiative. He attacked and managed to ride the climb which had been forcing riders to dismount all day. Nys chose to run and managed to stay with him, but the others were distanced. Over the next climbs, Aernouts chased to regroup but was left dangling as Nys again applied the pressure.
Heading through the start/finish, Meeusen slid out leaving Nys and Aernouts at the front. Again, Nys attacked on the climb and left Aernouts behind. While he dangled for some time, the gap eventually ballooned and Aernouts was left to fight for second with Vantornout finishing third.
Elite Men’s Results:
|8||Thijs VAN AMERONGEN||NED|
|13||Micki VAN EMPEL||NED|
|15||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||BEL|
|20||Rudi VAN HOUTS||NED|
|22||Tom VAN DEN BOSCH||BEL|
|25||Corne VAN KESSEL||NED|
|26||Patrick VAN LEEUWEN||NED|
|27||Eddy VAN IJZENDOORN||NED|
|31||Dave DE CLEYN||BEL|