Cyclo-cross champion Erwin Vervecken hasn't had the best start to the season. The Belgian has never really gone the way of Sven Nys, piling on the wins in the early season, but he's always been near the front of the field. Three World Championships later, Vervecken began this year with only four podium results in fourteen races. For the cyclo-cross crazy Flanders region, it is becoming clear that the years are starting to take their toll on Vervecken, as Cyclingnews' Brecht Decaluwé finds out.
Fidea's Erwin Vervecken has led a much quieter career than many three time World Champions normally do. The tall, laid-back Belgian is rarely at the front fighting for the hole shot in the early season races. Still, it's unusual that he's as far back as he's been in the field this year. Cyclingnews talked to Vervecken before the Vlaamse Houtlandcross in Eernegem about his current form.
"What can I say?" Vervecken asked. "I'm turning 35 and I am not going to get better," he smiled. Things haven't been all bad, as he has already chalked up two wins this year, first in the USA in Southampton, and then in Holland in Woerden. "October has never been my month, and actually it was years ago since I'd won races in October," the World Champ realised.
Nevertheless the Fidea-rider agreed that his performances and results weren't as good as wanted. "I had three really poor performances in October: GP de la region Wallonne [10th], the Superprestige race in Ruddervoorde [23rd] and the World Cup in Tabor [11th]. In Kalmthout [22nd] – the first World Cup event – a chain problem caused the bad result, otherwise I would've finished in the top ten," Vervecken looked back on his performances throughout October.
Vervecken isn't going to fade into oblivion, however, especially not while wearing his third rainbow striped jersey. With a fifth place in the Koppenbergcross in Oudenaarde the slender Belgian showed he isn't just cashing in his start money. Nevertheless, Vervecken agreed that the organizers are questioning the world champion's value right now.