Despite having a poor start, Niels Albert managed to rebound and seize victory in today’s 2013 Internationale Hamsgrohe Superprestige cyclocross race in Gieten, Belgium. Today’s win marked back-to-back victories for the Belgian rider – as he won yesterday’s World Cup round in Koksijde.
Albert is now the new leader of the Superprestige cyclo-cross series – after Sveb Nys was forced to pull out of today’s race as a result of a crash, combined with a mechanical failure.
“Due to circumstances, I’m in the lead. It’s partly due to the bad luck from Nys – sorry for him – but it’s good for me. The next round in Diegem suits me well too,” Albert told Vier. “Right after the start I didn’t believe in my chances. I rode against someone’s foot in the first corner and hit the deck. After picking up my bike I saw nobody.”
With the support of his teammates, today’s race saw Albert make his way up through the field rider-after- rider, as the pack was stretched out along the course.
“It gave me a lot of courage.”
Indeed, within five laps of today’s race, Albert had the lead group in sight. That was about the time things started to go wrong for Nys.
As the world champion was making his way into a fast left hand corner, his front wheel slid away. Although he managed to recover from the fall, half a lap later, his derailleur destroyed his rear wheel.
“I managed to recover from the crash but apparently my derailleur was harmed. That’s cycling. I’ve had many years without bad luck in the Superprestige. One year a broken derailleur ruined my chances and it seems to happen once again,” Nys said.
During the eighth lap, Albert, Lars van der Haar and Klaas Vantornout distanced themselves from the rest of the field.
It was then that Albert started to put the hammer down on his rivals – quickly establishing a substantial gap. At one point, Vantornout gave up the chase – bowing his head in defeat.
“There are no excuses. I wasn’t fit enough today and got worse every lap. Too bad because I was in a great positon.”
From there, Philipp Walsleben and Tom Meeusen took over command of the chase. Meanwhile, Nys had abandoned the race while riding in seventeenth position.
“There’s too many guys ahead of me. The points are out of reach. This course is not technical enough to make the difference. Too bad because I felt good and was in control of the race.”
In front, Meeusen and Walsleben did all they could to close the gap on the two leaders in the final meters of the last lap – to no avail.
In the meantime, it looked like Van der Haar was headed for a sprint victory, but an uphill sand section shortly before the finish line changed all of that.
“Niels ran like a mad man. It was nearly impossible to keep up with my short legs but I tried to follow his steps. After hopping back on the bike I clicked out of my pedal after the fourth stroke while my chain dropped to the small ring. It was already hard to stay on his wheel so it was impossible to ride back to him,” Van der Haar said. Albert didn’t look back and crossed the line while releasing a scream of joy. “I wasn’t focused on the double. I’ve achieved it twice in 2008. My form is good and I’m happy for that,” Albert said.
Result Elite Men1. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus2. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team3. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea4. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus5. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah6. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games7. Martin Bina (Cze) Kwadro-Stannah8. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink9. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games10. Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
Helen Wyman put yesterday’s sixth place finish in the World Cup race behind her – as she rode clear of the main field – to take a solo victory in today’s race.
The European champion took the lead on the first lap, and steadily increased her margin over the chase – to comfortably seize the win. Today’s victory marked her 8th win of the season.
Today’s race began with Reza Hormes making a fast start. However, shortly thereafter, both Sanne Cant Wyman accelerated past her. Wyman would accelerate again – distancing her from Cant.
As Wyman’s lead grew, a battle for second place commenced between Cant and Sabrina Stultiëns.
On the last lap, Cant finally managed to distance herself from Stultiëns – taking a comfortable second place finish over the Dutch rider.
Result Elite Women1. Helen Wyman (GBr) Kona Factory Racing2. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP3. Sabrina Stultiëns (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
You must be logged in to post a comment.