Current world champion Sven Nys held first place until the halfway mark when a crash wrecked not only his rear derailleur but also any chance of retaining the series lead. That’s now in the hands of Niels Albert, who edged out Dutch cyclocross champion van der Haar by just 15 seconds.
Until the final sandy ascent, it looked like van der Haar would take the win after battling head to head with Albert for much of the 12-lap race. However, with bike rested on his shoulder, Albert pulled away en route to the summit of that final climb, hopped back on and pedalled to victory.
Meeusen grew stronger as the race unfolded to grab the final podium spot. The result leaves van der Haar and Meeusen in fourth and sixth, respectively, in the overall standings. Earlier in the weekend, van der Haar retained his World Cup lead with 10th in Koksijde, Belgium.
The Dutchman wasn’t the only Rabobank rider to make headlines this weekend when Sabrina Stultiens (Rabobank/LivGiant) finished third in the women’s Superprestige race in Gieten. The Dutch rider looked powerful throughout, finishing a mere 31 seconds down on victor Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Racing).