By Brecht Decaluwé in Eernegem, Belgium
Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner) took his sixth victory of the season in the Houtlandcross in Eernegem in a sprint against local hero and last year's winner Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb Projob Cycling Team). A few seconds later Dutchman Thijs Al (AA Drink - BeOne) held off Dieter Vanthourenhout (Palmans - Cras ) for the remaining podium spot while American Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) came in as last rider of this group, finishing fifth.
World champion Lars Boom and World Cup leader Niels Albert preferred to skip the race in Eernegem in order to be fresh enough for tomorrow's World Cup race in Pijnacker, The Netherlands.
Nys wasn't expected to start in Eernegem, but nevertheless the Belgian champion showed up and grabbed his sixth victory of the season.