OUDENAARDE, Belgium – Wout van Aert (Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace) placed a well-timed attack on the slopes of the famed Koppenburg to win at Koppenburgcross, the second round of the Bpost Bank Trofee series.
The first half of the race played out like a criterium with Julien Taramarcaz (Era – Murprotec) and Corne van Kessel (Telenet Fidea Cyling Team) taking an early lead only to be brought back at the intermediate sprint in lap two.
Thijs Van Amerongen (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team) was next to initiate an attack with Diether Sweeck (Era-Murpotec) bridging to form a two-man breakaway. The duo’s lead increased to 20 seconds by mid-race while the pack behind first swelled in numbers before chase groups of four or five began to form.
Lars Van der Haar (Team Giant-Alpecin), Tom Meeusen (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team), Gianni Vermeersch (Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team), and van Kessel managed to distance themselves as they worked to reel in the break. Seeming to have missed out, van Aert found himself in a second chase group with Nys trailing just behind. With only three and a half laps left, Nys then van Aert made surges to bridge to the lead chase group, but it was van Aert who used the momentum to attack on the Koppenberg passing Van Amerongen and Sweeck in the process.
Nys dropped back to recover while Van der Haar took up the reigns of the chase followed by Meeusen and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team) who also had moved up during the surge. Once away, there was no looking back for van Aert. Van der Haar, unable to match, found himself in second position with Pauwels now in tow. Worried that a cat-and-mouse game could let Meeusen or Nys catch up, Van der Haar pressed on while Pauwels bided his time, allowing Van der Haar to set the pace before moving past in the final lap to claim second, 31 seconds down on van Aert. Meeusen crossed the line in fourth position while a last minute mechanical led Nys to abandon allowing Van Amerongen the fifth spot.
Van Aert now leads Pauwels for the overall by 55 seconds with Van der Haar close behind at 1:00 as the series continues to Hamme for round three, Flandrien Cross on November 29.
2015 Koppengburgcross Elite Men Preliminary Results
|1||Wout VAN AERT||BEL|
|3||Lars VAN DER HAAR||NED|
|5||Thijs VAN AMERONGEN||NED|
|9||Corne VAN KESSEL||NED|