Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-KDL) won on Roubaix’s famous velodrome from the first time in his career after edging out his rivals in the fourth round of the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup.
The Belgian champion rode away from Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Julien Taramarcaz (BMC Racing) on the final technical section to claim victory.
Victory for Nys reduces Albert’s lead to 15 points in the overall World Cup standings with four rounds remaining.
“It’s special to win here on this velodrome which has so much history. It’s a good start to December after a great November,” said Nys, who won the previous World Cup round in Koksidje.
Nys struggled to find his rhythm in the first half of the race and languished outside the top nine at the halfway stage but then set two fast laps to bridge the gap to the lead group.
The 36-year-old accelerated away from the group, with only Albert, Pauwels and Taramarcaz able to follow.
And Nys then attacked late on the final lap to claim his tenth win of the season, with Pauwels second, Albert third and Taramarcaz missing out on a spot on the podium in fourth.
Meanwhile, Trek Cyclocross Collective rider Katie Compton went on to claim her third successive World Cup victory ahead of Sanne Van Paassen (Rabobank) and Jasmin Achermann (Rapha-Focus) in the women’s race.
Great Britain’s Nikki Harris (Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) was forced settle for fourth after an untimely puncture ended her chances of victory.
Fellow Brit Helen Wyman (Kona) crashed on a short sand section on the first lap which allowed a select group of riders to get away, while Wyman was left chasing the race outside of the top 30, eventually finishing 13th.
Victory for Compton extends her overall lead to 50 points, with the American on 230 points, with Van Paassen second on 180 and Harris third on 170, while Wyman slips to fourth on 148.
Elite men – result
1) Sven Nys (BEL) – Landbouwkrediet-Euphony 1:03:47 hours
2) Kevin Pauwels (BEL) – Sunweb-Revor +1″
3) Niels Albert (BEL) – BKCP-Powerplus +4″
4) Julien Taramarcaz (SWI) – BMC Mountainbike Racing Team +7″
5) Lars Van Der Haar (NED) – Rabobank Giant Offroad Team +20″
6) Radomir Simunek (CZE) – BKCP-Powerplus
7) Rob Peeters (BEL) – Telenet-Fidea +21″
8) Twan Van Den Brand (NED) – Orange Babies Cycling Team
9) Dieter Vanthourenhout (BEL) – BKCP-Powerplus +24″
10) Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea +40″
Elite women – result
1) Katie Compton (USA) – Trek Cyclocross Collective -42:24 minutes
2) Sanne Van Paassen (NED) – Rabobank Women Cycling Team +8″
3) Jasmin Achermann (SWI) – Rapha-Focus +28″
4) Nikki Harris (GBR) – Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team +52″
5) Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (FRA) – Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team
6) Gabriella Day (GBR) – Rapha-Focus +1’19”
7) Pavla Havlikova (CZE) – Young Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team
8) Ellen Van Loy (BEL) – Melbotech Prorace CT
9) Eva Lechner (ITA) – Colnago Sudtirol +1’23”
10) Martina Mikulaskova (CZE) 0:01:25