By Brecht Decaluwé
Around 14,000 spectators around the lake in Hofstade enjoyed a spectacular and tactical race. They saw that nine riders battled for victory, and they will have noticed that UCI-leader Sven Nys (Rabobank) wasn’t as strong as usual. When the race gets tactical, Nys gets less comfortable and one rider steps forward: world champion Erwin Vervecken (Fidea).
“In a direct duel with Nys I will often lose, but in a tactical race I’ve got my chances,” Vervecken said. The world champion attacked with one lap to go when Nys was at the back of the group. He claimed his first big win of the season, a victory Vervecken sorely needed. “Until now my season was terrible, especially the last month. I had some podium finishes, but in the end people look at your victories… which I didn’t have,” Vervecken said.
A surprising face was spotted at second place, Petr Dlask (Fidea). The Czech giant found a course that suited him perfectly, with various running sections through the sand. “My running in the sand was super; I like this course as last year I performed good as well over here. Now I hope my form will get even better as the world championship is still five weeks from here. Meanwhile I’ll try to improve my UCI-ranking back to a decent position, top five should be possible. But another goal is to stay healthy for more than five weeks,” Dlask laughed.
For the full report, results and photos, click here.