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)|
U23 Photos by Thomas van Bracht
Gieten 2011 U 23 Results
|1||Lars VAN DER HAAR||NED||21||49:14:00|
|7||Corne VAN KESSEL||NED||21||50:03:00|
|13||David VAN DER POEL||NED||20||50:22:00|
|15||Micki VAN EMPEL||NED||22||50:37:00|
|26||Henk Jaap MOORLAG||NED||22||52:06:00|
|28||Emil Arvid OLSEN||DEN||19||52:33:00|
|34||Geert VAN DER HORST||NED||22|