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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) rode alone to victory on Sunday at the Rome World Cup.
Albert escaped on the third lap, quickly building a five-second gap that swelled to 17 seconds at its peak.
A three-man chase formed up in the final laps — French champion Francis Mourey (FDJ), World Cup leader Lars van der Haar (Rabobank), and world champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) — but it would not retrieve Albert, who held on to win by five seconds over van der Haar and Nys.
“It was a very hard one,” said Albert. “The track was very muddy. I was a little bit tired from the training on Friday. The last two rounds were totally broken, everything was hurting. But I’m happy I won.”
Van der Haar continues to lead the World Cup series with 407 points. Albert sits second with 353 while Philipp Walsleben (BKCP) is third with 344.