By Brecht Decaluwé in Diegem
Sven Nys overcame an early-race deficit and the flu to win in Diegem on Sunday. When Bart Wellens attacked during the second lap nobody had an immediate answer. Ailing UCI-leader Sven Nys (Rabobank) tried to get back at his own speed after a solid lead group got away. During the second half of the race things turned around in front: Wellens struggled to find his second breath and was overtaken by Nys; the latter worked his way to his 150th career victory.
After the race, Nys exaplined that the remarkable career-win record wasn't on his mind; he only thought about the overall rankings in the Superprestige competition and the double points at stake in Diegem. “Even when I was alone in front, I was afraid that the bunch would come back and overtake me, which could mean a loss of ten points. Now I pulled off a great deal as the gap (in points) with Wellens is very big now,” Nys said. In fact Nys’ advantage is so big that he can afford himself to skip a race if he would want to do so.
The main opposition came from Nys’ arch rival in cross, Bart Wellens. “I felt great during the first half and I guess he [Nys] felt better during the second half," Wellens said. "I made a slipper just past halfway and then I decided to wait for him. I wanted to sit in his wheel for a lap to attack him with two laps to go. But his pace was just too fast and then I realized that I probably rode past my limit during the first five laps, so I couldn’t come back on him.” The blonde Belgian didn’t feel bad about his loss today. “OK, I passed away with three laps to go but behind the two of us there’s a enormous gap and that gives me confidence for next week (at the Belgian National championships in Hooglede-Gits)."
For the full report, results and photos, click here.