By Brecht Decaluwé
Sven Nys’ (Rabobank) finish line reaction said it all: he was keen on revenge. “I came here to win the race!” The UCI-leader was one of the four men who formed the front group that entered the ultimate lap. Nys accelerated in the final to grab his 22nd victory of the season; the new Belgian champion Bart Wellens (Fidea) finished fourth behind Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb) and his surprisingly strong team mate Jan Verstraeten (Sunweb).
“My legs felt good although the champs were pretty tough, I gratefully made use of that. The bunch kicked off with a fierce start but I delayed intentionally; after my acceleration Vanthourenhout joined me, but another acceleration granted me a gap that proved to be enough to win,” Nys said on cyclo-cross.info.
The man in second place wasn’t too disappointed with that position. “I got tired by the end of the race and had to let go of Nys, who wanted to make up for yesterday’s race,” Vanthourenhout said.
New Belgian champion Wellens had a party-filled evening before the race, but did show up in Otegem for the classic ‘revenge for the champs’. “It went surprisingly well but with two laps to go I felt all energy slipping away. I tried to attack but of course they didn’t let me go; when the others started attacking it was over for me. That’s not a big surprise after such a tough championship and the celebrations that accompany the win,” Wellens explained.
For the full report and results, click here.