by Evan Schmitt
The Superprestige series is anything but over as it returns to the main stage this Sunday, February 5, in Hoogstraten, Belgium. Coming one day after the GvA series race in Lille, it will be a race for the strongest riders in field. Hoogstraten is the penultimate race in the eight-race Superprestige series that concludes next Sunday in Middelkerke. In 2011, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) won the race.
All eyes will be on Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), who stormed the sands of Koksijde last weekend to claim his world title (check out our profile of his race wining bike). He will face a challenge from Worlds silver medalist Rob Peeters (Fidea), who had a standout performance in Koksijde. Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) took the bronze in Koksijde and is looking to score a win to add on to his successful season. Nys will also be gunning for the win to regain his favorite place on top of the podium. Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) will be looking for a win to close his season after his unsuccessful title defense last week in Koksijde.
In the women’s race, look for a battle between Dutchwoman Daphny van den Brand (AA-drink) and Belgian Sanne Cant (BKCP-Powerplus). The two went second and third respectively at Worlds, with Cant scoring the first medal at Worlds for Belgium in the women’s race.