A lot can change in a week, and while UCI leader Sven Nys dominated the Gavere round of the Superprestige, riders who had been questioning his abilities last weekend acknowledged his strength. World champion Erwin Vervecken wasn't too disappointed that he was caught after his attack in the last lap. "I feel that I'm strong enough, but I'm lacking the explosiveness that is needed to win here; my age will be the reason for that. The good thing is that I have no problem with the series of races," Vervecken talked about today's performance.
His team-mate Klaas Vantornout was annoyed by a viral infection and was more than happy with his result after a poor performance in Hasselt. He still doubted the superiority of Nys. "Certainly Nys was the strongest, but I wouldn't say superior. If he was that good then he would've attacked much earlier, he wasn't that good. In the sprint I just couldn't hold the wheel of Mourey, that's all," Vantornout said. Speculation about his future continues, but Vantornout denied that Sunweb's manager Jurgen Mettepenningen made him a generous offer. "Not yet," Vantornout winked.
Bart Wellens was happy to be on the podium for the Super prestige round in Gavere this Sunday, explaining to sport.be that he was "simply not good enough."
With one dominant attack toward the end of the race, Sven Nys removed himself from the leading group, storming to his thirteenth straight Superprestige race win. Wellens came to the line together with French champion Mourey but was unable to beat him for second place in the tight sprint. "It was the best I could possibly do," Wellens explained after the race.
"I was not as good as yesterday, today," Wellens said. "I felt right away that I had no strength whatsoever on the climbs." Yet Wellens still attempted to attack the world number one. "I saw that Nys punctured - the perfect time to attack. But it was Nys himself that was quickly on my wheel again, it was then that I knew [that it wasn't to be]."
Wellens was afraid of Nys when it came to the last climb. "Impressive hey," he said of Nys last lap charge. "And I was riding on the last of my strength. Honestly, at that moment I was afraid that I would have another 30 seconds taken out on me. In the end I am very happy that I was able to stand on the podium."
"Team tactics have no use on a course like this. Then you would need to have ten Fidea's in the lead group to beat Nys on this course, Gavere is a very honest 'cross," Wellens said at the mention of team tactics playing a role in the outcome of the race.
The Belgian champion claimed his place on the podium thanks to some tactical moves on the last lap. "Luckily I had a plan. In the final pit area I had a bike waiting for me with tyres pumped up hard. I had a feeling beforehand that it could come down to a sprint here. Thanks to that bike I passed Klaas, but catching Mourey was beyond me. With this podium place I can keep my classification hopes alive," he concluded.