A perfect weekend for Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) with two commanding victories at Saturday's bpost Bank Trofee - GP Hasselt and the Superprestige Gavere on Sunday. In addition to those two races in Belgium, races were held in the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Great Britain and France for a total of six races, five C2 and one C1.
Nys not only won Saturday's race but he also reduced his gap to 20 seconds to bpost Bank Trofee leader Niels Albert (BKCP- Powerplus) after three races. After a good start, Nys jumped on the second lap to take the intermediate time bonus sprint. Three men were off the front with two laps to go as they approached the log section, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) who took the lead, Nys and the World Champion Albert. Pauwels jumped first but then he went sideways after contact with Nys who was faster leaving only Nys and Albert at the front. Nys finally powered away to take a solo victory, Albert was second and Pauwels held on to third.
"He (Pauwels) suddenly swerved to the left and I lightly touched him. It was completely unintentional, but he fell. I thought for a moment to wait for him, but he was already too far, and I also had to take care of Albert. I finally managed to drop him." Nys told RTBF.
Nys continued his winning ways at the muddy race at Asper-Gavere, the only C1 European race of the weekend and the fourth race of the Superprestige series, Everyone expected a duel in the race, but the surprise was it was Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) battling it out with Nys to deliver an exciting final lap. Going into the bell lap, the pair was still together when Nys tried to take over the front on the climb but Vantornout shut the door on him while running up. Still together as they approached the final straight, Nys came around to take the win, his eighth victory at Asper-Gavere, and his fourth win in four Superprestige races. Bart Wellens (Telenet – Fidea) crossed the line 50 seconds later for third.
Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea) continued to show her skills in the mud by soloing to the victory at the Superprestige race. Harris along with Sanne van Paassen (Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team) and Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Veldritacademie Enertherm-BKCP) separated themselves from the rest of the first lap. But Harris hit the gas again the next time around to get a gap which she held until the finish. Van Paassen was second and Cant, third.
Also on Sunday was the second round of the Challenge National de cyclo-cross in Besançon, France. Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat) took off with two laps to go to take consecutive victories and increase his lead in the French series. Guillaume Perrot (EC Saint-Etienne Loire) was second and John Gadret (AG2R-La Mondiale), third. In the hotly contested elite women's race, Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Hitec Products-Mistral Home) took the win in a sprint ahead of Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabobank Women) and Lucie Chainel (CC Etupes).
Created by brothers Lukas and Mathias Flückiger to re-ignite cyclo-cross in Switzerland, the inaugural Flückiger Cross Madiswil was held on Sunday. Marcel Wildhaber (Scott-Swisspower) took the win in the elite men's race ahead of Lukas Flückiger (Trek World Racing) was second and Simon Zahner. Jasmine Achermann claimed the elite women's race with Sabrina Schweizer (Rapha-Focus) second and Renata Bucher, third.
In other races this past weekend, Martin Bina won at Saturday's Toi Toi Cup #6 in Holé Vrchy, Czech Republic. Vojtech Nipl was second and Jakub Skala, third. Kevin Eeckhout was the victor at the National Trophy Series #3 in Southampton, Great Britain on Sunday. Paul Oldham was second and Tom Van den Bosch, third.