BAAL, Belgium—Unveiling the new Crelan-Vastgoedservice Cycling Team jersey, Wout van Aert stayed clear of any mud jams and all other mudders to dominate the GP Sven Nys today.

Lars van der Haar (Giant-Alpecin) took the holeshot and put on the initial pressure but it was Van Aert who stole the show, coming from around eighth position to take over the lead in the second lap.

Klaas Vantornout (Marlux-Napoleon Games) and teammate Gianni Vermeersch formed into the first chase group with the hometown favorite for whom the race is named, Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) trailing about 12 seconds behind.

Top contender Pauwels had a bad start, down about 20 second by the end of lap one.

Nys sensing he had do move up tried to connect with the duo of Vantornout and Vermeersch but slipped in a muddy, long, right-hand turn, falling into the barriers in the third round tearing his skinsuit before remounting to continue the chase.

By the end of round three Van Aert had distanced his rivals and was leading with an 18 second advantage over the chasers Vantornout, Vermeersch, Van der Haar an Michael Vanthourenhout (Marlux-Napoleon Games).

Nys closed the gap soon after just as Vanthournhout made a push to break away. With two laps remaining Nys took over the reigns from Vanthornhout but by this time Van Aert’s advantage had increased to nearly a minute and a half.

Behind, Sven Nys, leading his Crelan-AA Drink team, gave sponsor Crelan another dose of publicity, outkicking all others for second in his own race.

Nys said afterwards that second “feels like a victory.”

Joining the chase group in the last round, Corne Van Kessel (Telenet Fidea) made a move to break away before being passed by Nys and Vanthornhout.

Telenet Fidea rider Toon Aerts got into the action in the eleventh hour as he joined Nys and Vanthornhout in the final lap. Aerts took the lead but lost positioning as he pitted, trailing Nys as they came into the sprint, conceding second place to the veteran.

“I made a stupid mistake there. But I’m first year pro and do not miss this experience. Those are things I can learn next year,” said Aerts post-race.

The solo victory by a 1:12 lead places Van Aert as the likely winner of the Bpost Bank Trofee series. One race remains with Van Aert nearly seven minutes ahead of his closest rival Kevin Pauwels (Marlux-Napoleon Games).

Canadian Jeremy Martin was the lone North American racing today, finishing in 27th.

Not everyone was able to keep it all together:

2016 GP Sven Nys Bpost Bank Trofee Race Video Highlights:


2016 Bpost Bank Trofee GP Sven Nys Results - Elite Men

1Wout VAN AERTBEL221:00:3980
2Sven NYSBEL401:01:5260
3Toon AERTSBEL231:01:5440
4Michael VANTHOURENHOUTBEL231:01:5730
5Klaas VANTORNOUTBEL341:01:5825
6Gianni VERMEERSCHBEL241:02:0020
7Lars VAN DER HAARNED251:02:0017
8Corne VAN KESSELNED251:02:1515
9Laurens SWEECKBEL231:02:4012
10Kevin PAUWELSBEL321:02:4910
11Diether SWEECKBEL231:02:588
12Tom MEEUSENBEL281:03:066
13Julien TARAMARCAZSUI291:03:124
14Rob PEETERSBEL311:03:282
15Philipp WALSLEBENGER291:03:361
16Thijs VAN AMERONGENNED301:03:46
17Joeri ADAMSBEL271:03:55
18Tim MERLIERBEL241:04:35
19Twan VAN DEN BRANDNED271:04:50
20Jim AERNOUTSBEL271:05:01
21Vincent BAESTAENSBEL271:05:47
22Niels WUBBENNED281:06:30
23Kevin CANTBEL281:06:41
24Michael BOROSCZE241:07:54
27Jeremy MARTINCAN24
30Yannick MAYERGER25
32Fabian OBRISTSUI25