With reporting from Brecht Decaluwé in Koksijde, Belgium
Erwin Vervecken (Fidea Cycling Team) set a new record of five career wins in Koksijde on Saturday while taking his first World Cup victory since December, 2006.
Vervecken overtook Sven Nys and Danny De Bie who each have four wins in the beach front town in West Flanders. The victory was also a pleasant surprise for the three-time World Champion who, before a strong fourth in Gavere was having such a poor season he was at risk of not being selected for the World Cup.
"I didn't think that I could still win a World Cup race," Vervecken admitted. The last won at this level in Hofstade two years ago. As in this previous win, Vervecken was helped by three other Fidea teammates who worked together to bring back Nys: Bart Wellens, Kevin Pauwels and Zdenek Stybar.
"My luck today was that we worked well together in order to bring Sven back. Probably Sven used a lot of his energy then," Vervecken commented. The tall 36-year-old showed that he hasn't lost the ability to dig deep and put out power by catching and then overtaking Nys in the finishing straight.
"It felt like a very long sprint, not only for Sven, and I think I re-launched my sprint three times," Vervecken said. "First I focused on keeping Stybar at a distance, but then I noticed that Sven was still within my reach," Vervecken said.
"This is the race where it all started for me with my victory in 1993, and later my first podium finish in the World Championships. Now I'm winning this race for the fifth time, a record, but since Sven Nys is four years younger than me, I bet I'm not going to keep the record forever," Vervecken said.
See also the full coverage from Koksijde.