Nash Dominates with Absence from Vos and Ferrand Prevot
Katerina Nash (Luna Pro), might be a citizen of the Czech Republic and living in the United States, but she has certainly made her home in Belgium with her third victory in the country in the 2014-15 season, another being the World Cup in Namur. Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP), who has been struggling with illness, crossed the line for second more than a half minute back, while Ellen Van Loy (Telenet-Fidea) took the final spot on the podium.
With the third place, Van Loy takes the lead in the overall standings over Sophie de Boer, who left the race in the first lap due to illness, and Van Loy now has almost a two minute lead over Cant as she will head into Lille a week after the World Championships in the Czech Republic.
Van Loy, the habitual fast starter, set the pace during the first lap, with her teammate, Nikki Harris, in tow alongside Cant and Nash. It was not long before Nash established herself and created a gap, which widened halfway through the race over the rest of the chasers.
Harris pulled herself in just off the podium, while fellow countrywomen Helen Wyman (Kona) followed two spots behind in sixth.
Erica Zaveta (Amy D. Foundation) gave an impressive performance as the lead American, coming in ninth, while Elle Anderson (Kalas-NNOF) took 11th. Christine Vardaros captured 14th, and Corey Coogan crossed the line in 18th.
Van Aert Starts the New Year as He Left It, With Anther Win
Wout van Aert (Vastgoedservice – Golden Palace) had an impressive New Year’s ride, finishing well out alone at the GP Sven Nys Race of the BPost Bank Trofee ahead of Lars van der Haar (Giant Development) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb – Napoleon Games). He is the series leader with Pauwels the clear second and Sven Nys (Crelan – AA Drink Team) third.
As the lights changed from red to green, Van der Haar sped ahead for the holeshot, although it was Tom Meeusen’s bold bunnyhopping that would send the Telenet-Fidea rider to the lead early in the first lap.
A group of nine riders formed at the front of the race, with Nys in sixth position, looking ready to fight for the win. A lap later Van Aert, Van der Haar, Meeusen, Pauwels and Nys took off from the others, which formed into a chase group.
A little over a third of the way through the race, Nys led the other riders over the flyover as the crowd erupted with cheers. By this point of the race there was no clear dominate rider as each of the five took a turn dictating the pace at the front. Van Aert nearly lost his front wheel at one of the muddy descents, but unclipped a foot and saved himself, only losing a marginal amount of time with Nys and Pauwels up front.
Once on the pavement, Van Aert slowed the pace at the front, barely allowing Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb – Napoleon Games) to join the five up front. Just then, however, Van Aert timed a well-executed attack, with only Meeusen able to keep on his wheel. Nys was able to keep pace for a half lap several seconds back, but he couldn’t keep up with Van Aert’s speed.
Once Meeusen punctured his rear tire far from the pits, Van Aert continued to press on alone, and would only continue to grow the gap for the remainder of the race. Lars van der Haar passed Meeusen and was soon alone in second while Pauwels and Nys fought each other for third. Pauwels would eventually win the battle for the podium, while his teammate Vermeersch, who had spent so much energy reconnecting to the leaders, was able to sneak in past Nys for fourth.
No American men were present in Baal for the Elite Race.
Jacobs Takes Junior Race with Laurens Sweeck Winning U23
Belgian rider Laurens Sweeck won the U23 race in Baal, with fellow countrymen Toon Aerts and Michael Vanthournhout joining him on the podium. Sam O’Keefe the last remaining American U23 rider to race in Europe before coming home for Nationals, took 18th.
Swiss rider Johan Jacobs secured the top spot today in the Junior race, with Dutch rider Jens Dekker following in second, and Belgian Han Devos finishing third. American Gavin Haley finished in seventh, with Brannan Fix coming in 17th, Cormac Dunn taking 27th, and Adin Baird rounding out the American Juniors in 30th.
2015 G.P. Sven Nys, Junior Race
|6||Jari DE CLERCQ||BEL||17||42:12:00|
|21||Pelle VAN DEN BULCK||BEL||18||44:00:00|
2015 G.P. Sven Nys, U23 Race
|15||Matthias VAN DE VELDE||BEL||21||53:03:00|
|16||Ward VAN LAER||BEL||20||53:37:00|
|21||Kyle DE PROOST||BEL||20||55:05:00|
|23||Nick VAN DE KERCKHOVE||BEL||19||56:16:00|
2015 G.P. Sven Nys, Elite Women's Race
|3||Ellen VAN LOY||BEL||35||40:39:00|
|10||Asa Maria ERLANDSSON||SWE||41||44:52:00|
|16||Mercedes PACIOS PUJADO||ESP||32||47:39:00|
|18||Corey COOGAN CISEK||USA||38||49:29:00|
|21||Chris VAN DORSSELAERE||BEL||30|
2015 G.P. Sven Nys, Elite Men's Race
|1||Wout VAN AERT||BEL||21||1:06:11|
|2||Lars VAN DER HAAR||NED||24||1:06:57|
|19||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||BEL||27||1:12:45|
|21||Twan VAN DEN BRAND||NED||26|
|22||Patrick VAN LEEUWEN||NED||30|
|24||Ismael Felix BARBA FRUTOS||ESP||24|
|29||Ramon SAGUES PORTABELLA||ESP||37|