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Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) went two for two on the weekend, capping his victory in Saturday’s Krawatencross with another at the Hoogstraten stop of the Superprestige series and setting up a final-round battle with series leader Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus).
Albert was looking good early on Sunday, well out in front on a very heavy course with five laps to go. Then Nys escaped a chase group and bridged to the series leader, leaving Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Jim Aernouts (Sunweb) to battle for third.
Albert briefly challenged Nys on the tough, muddy circuit, but with three to go the Belgian champion opened an insurmountable lead.
Then Vantornout, too, caught and dropped Albert, and the finishing order was set.
Nys took his second win of the weekend by more than a half-minute over Vantornout, while Albert — who at one point, after a slide into the course tape, appeared on the verge of flinging his bike into the crowd — barely hung on to third ahead of a charging Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink).
Albert began the day with a six-point edge over Nys in the Superprestige standings, but the Belgian champion is only four points down now with just one race remaining in the series, Feb. 15 at Middelkerke.
Lars van der Haar (Rabobank), who had been sitting third overall, abandoned Sunday’s race.