Halfway through today’s race, Nys managed to distanced his rivals through the sandpits, subsequently opening up a 20-second gap. Rob Peeters followed in second place – taking the silver medal ahead of Bart Wellens. Defending champion Klaas Vantornout abandoned the race, as did Niels Albert.
"I had a really good day, like I have been having for three weeks now. I felt on the first passage of the sandpit that I was good. I wanted to start the sandpit fresh every lap and succeeded. My ninth title is not the same as the first title but I am really proud. That I can do this at my age is a miracle. To be able to give the supporters and sponsors this at my age is great," said Nys.
The course in Waregem contained a variation of sandpits, mud sections and numerous obstacles. The race began with fourteen professional riders, with Joeri Adams taking an early lead in the race. Nys ultimately rode to the fore at mid-point in the race – and remained out front for the duration.
Meanwhile, Peeters and Wellens battled it out for second place. Indeed, the two riders stayed together for most of the race, however, Peeters managed to ride clear of Wellens during the last lap. Defending champion Klaas Vantornout abandoned halfway into the race. Niels Albert abandon the race after a fall.
“It didn’t go as i expected," Albert said. "It wasn’t running smoothly and it was just not in the cards today. I made mistakes, crashed a few times. I didn’t have the day to become national champion. I felt good during the warm-up but during the race it didn’t turn out as I hoped. I have no explanation."
Result Elite Men1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-AA Drink2. Rob Peeters (Bel) Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace3. Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea4. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea5. Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games6. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games7. Wietse Bosmans (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus8. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games9. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink10. Michael Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
In the women’s race, Sanne Cant proved victorious after she overcame a couple of initial mishaps in the first lap.
The 23-year-old Belgian rider managed to ride clear of her closest rival, Ellen Van Loy, on the second lap, as Van Loy fell. From there, Cant continued to ride away to a solo victory.
Meanwhile, Githa Michiels prevailed over the remaining field to take third place – her first ever cyclocross national championship medal.
Today’s race unfolded with Cant stumbling in the first lap – giving Van Loy the opportunity to open up a slight gap. However, once she recovered, Cant managed regain sight of Van Loy, while Jolien Verschueren followed on her wheel.
Just as Cant was closing in on Van Loy, she stumbled again. However, Van Loy subsequently fell herself – allowing Cant to go by. Once clear, Cant began to open up a substantial lead – and only to increase it as Van Loy fell again.
At one point, Van Loy was joined by her teammate – Loes Sels. But, Sels fell in the mud – allowing Michels to get past her. A tiring Van Loy somehow managed to bridge herself back to Michaels – and ride clear of her in the closing lap to reclaim second place.
Result Elite Women
1. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP2. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) Telenet-Fidea3. Githa Michiels (Bel) KMC4. Loes Sels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea5. Jolien Verschueren (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012
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