2017 Soudal GP Hasselt

Nys' Telenet-Fidea Lions Looking Primed At Season's Halfway Point

Nys' Telenet-Fidea Lions Looking Primed At Season's Halfway Point

Dec 3, 2017 by Ian Dille
Nys' Telenet-Fidea Lions Looking Primed At Season's Halfway Point

Van Kessel Tops Teammate, Sels Storms To Victory

Corne Van Kessel secured his first victory of the cyclocross season in emphatic fashion over teammate Toon Aerts in the third round of the Soudal Classics. Van Kessel was one of the first riders into the first corner, but the last rider out of it. 

A crash left him adjusting his bicycle while the entire field rode by. Van Kessel spent the majority of the race working his way back through the field, only managing to catch the leaders with two laps to go.

Ellen Van Loy gained an early advantage in the women’s field but was soon joined by fellow Belgian Loes Sels. The duo quickly created a sizable gap to the rest of the field. Sels proved to be the strongest of the day, leaving Van Loy to settle for second place 20 seconds behind.

A Race Of Attrition In Hasselt

The fast course allowed the men’s field to stay mostly together for the opening laps. Eventually Tim Merlier (Crelan-Charles), Jim Aeronauts and Toon Aerts (Telenet Fidea Lions), David Van der Poel and Tom Meeusen (Beobank-Corendon) managed to gain a small advantage over the splintering field.

These five riders traded blows for the majority of race. However, once Corne Van Kessel (Telenet Fidea Lions) made contact with the five leaders on lap six, he immediately went to the front and increased the pace.


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Van der Poel and Aerts responded to the surge from Van Kessel, while Meeusen and Merlier were distanced. Van der Poel eventually was dropped as well, leaving the two Telenet Fidea riders to fight it out on the final lap. With one last attack into the final corner of the race, Van Kessel took a victory that looked nearly impossible one hour prior.

Telenet-Fidea Lions Show Strength

Van Kessel’s victory was one of pure grit and determination. It also demonstrates the depth of the Telenet Fidea Lions team. The smiling face of team manager Sven Nys could be seen on the side of the course in the closing laps of the race, while his riders rode to first and second place. 

Between Toon Aerts, Lars Van Der Haar and Corne Van Kessel, Nys’ team is looking poised for more success as the second half of the season looms.

By Michael Sheehan