American Katie Compton (Planet Bike) took her 11th win of the season on Sunday at the Superprestige race, winning in Gavere, Belgium for the third year in a row.
World Champion Marianne Vos was second at just 56 seconds while another favorite, Daphny Van Den Brand (ZZPR.nl) was third at 1:43.
The opening round of the women's Superprestige series tested the riders with thick mud all along the undulating course. Van Den Brand took the lead on the first lap as Compton, Vos and Belgian Sanne Cant formed the chasing group.
The American waited until the second lap to make her move, then powered up to the Dutch champion's wheel, leaving Vos chasing behind. Compton surged on the steep, muddy run-up and left Van Den Brand behind and soloed for the remainder of the race to victory.
Van Den Brand and Vos chased together until the World Champion dislodged Van Den Brand to claim second.
Complete results plus photos of the women's race can be found at Cyclingnews.com.
Niels Albert extends series lead over Nys in Belgium
World Champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) won the third round of the Superprestige series in Asper-Gavere. Albert extended his lead in the series by two points over Belgian National Champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), who missed out on a chance of a 50th career win in the Superprestige series after puncturing early during the penultimate lap.
Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea Cycling) won the sprint for third place ahead of teammate Kevin Pauwels.
A year ago, Albert's season was abruptly halted due to a crash during warm-up. This year was entirely different though as the 23-year-old Albert attacked during the fourth of nine laps and went on to victory.
Nys got a bad start and was initially trailing at half a minute, but he fought hard to work his way back, making progress at a rate of about five seconds per lap.
Going into the penultimate lap, arch rivals Albert and Nys were riding together in the lead, at least until a flat tyre and chain problems derailled Nys' intentions of grabbing a sixth consecutive win in Gavere, and a 50th victory in the Superprestige Series.
Albert did not show a lot of emotion when crossing the finish line. He raised his arms and gave a content smile. "After what happened last year, this victory is morale boosting; it's time to close that chapter," Albert said on VT4.
Complete results plus photos of the men's race can be found at Cyclingnews.com.
Elite women results
|1||Katherine Compton (USA)||0:41:13|
|2||Marianne Vos (Ned)||0:00:56|
|3||Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) ZZPR.NL||0:01:43|
|4||Sanne Cant (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||0:02:59|
|5||Sanne Van Paassen (Ned) ZZPR.NL||0:03:50|
|6||Linda Van Rijen (Ned)||0:04:44|
|7||Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team||0:06:19|
|8||Gabriella Day (GBr)||0:06:27|
|9||Sophie De Boer (Ned)||0:07:08|
|10||Pavla Havlikova (Cze)||0:07:35|
Elite men results
|1||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||1:03:41|
|2||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago||0:00:36|
|3||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling||0:00:43|
|4||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling|
|5||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Projob||0:02:02|
|6||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank Continental||0:02:16|
|7||Erwin VerveckenBaboco - Revor Cycling (Bel)||0:02:37|
|8||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas||0:02:39|
|9||Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank Continental||0:03:20|
|10||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus||0:03:31|