PLZEN, Czech Republic (VN) — World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) won round two of the 2012-13 World Cup on Sunday, taking the series lead for good measure.
Albert got away with five and a half laps to go, chased by Belgian champ Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet), and it was looking like a two-man race — until Nys crashed on a slippery descent and found himself mired well back in traffic, running to the pits.
World Cup leader Kevin Pauwels and Sunweb-Revor teammate Klaas Vantornout spent the remainder of the race battling for second place, while Nys wrestled with a parade of Telenet-Fidea riders, among them Rob Peeters, Tom Meeusen and Bart Wellens.
But the flowers would go to Albert, who rode flawlessly and unchallenged for six laps to take the victory. Scrubbing the mud from his rainbow jersey, he saluted the crowd as he crossed the line. Vantornout followed in the runner-up spot at 36 seconds down.
Peeters appeared to pip Pauwels for third at 45 seconds — but the Telenet rider was absent from the official results. The Belgian website Sporza.be reported that Peeters had been disqualified for riding through the pit without taking a bike, and the third step on the podium went to the World Cup leader.
A grim Nys had to settle for sixth at 1:31, behind Meeusen and Wellens. “A day to forget,” he tweeted later.
Jonathan Page was the top American on the day, finishing 32nd at 6:29.
Rough start for Powers
After a fine seventh-place showing in round one of the series in Tabor, U.S. national champion Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) found himself sprawled on the deck just after the start of round two, going down in a right-hander leading off the pavement.
“Some idiot crashed me at the start,” Powers said later via Twitter. “Then I got something in my cogs, which snapped my hanger off with two [laps] to go. Super pissed. A lot of time and energy goes into a race like this for everyone so it’s
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