"Winning is winning" says Wellens and he rode past a running Nys
By Brecht Decaluwé
Bart Wellens (Fidea)'s third victory at the Jaarmarktcross in Niel came as a surprise gift. After trailing Sven Nys (Rabobank) by 20 seconds, he suddenly popped ahead of the running Nys at the finish. With 500m to go, UCI series leader Nys damaged his wheel while shifting up. Richard Groenendaal (Rabobank) also passed Nys and stayed ahead until the finish. The Dutchman is the new leader in the "Gazet van Antwerpen" trophy with 67 points. He leads Wellens by three points and Nys by 64 points.
Groenendaal downplayed his trophy lead, "I was the third best rider in the race and leading the overall classification doesn't mean anything right now, although it's a good position to be in during the next couple of races in the competition."
After the race, Wellens offered condolences to Nys, but he was still happy with the win. "Winning is winning," said the Wellens, who took his second victory of the season. "We all know the prizes are handed out across the finish line, but I agree it is sad for Nys what happened to him. Anyway, what could I do? I couldn't stop riding!"
Ironically, Wellens had thought of the possibility of a mechanical earlier in the race. "Actually I was previously shouting to Groenendaal to continue the chase saying that Nys could still have a mechanical."
Nys was not too disappointed with his bad luck. "I didn't do anything wrong, but apparently this wasn't my lucky day." Nys explained what happened, "I just geared up the same way I did every lap, afterward I did my best to defend that third place." He was just glad the mechanical didn't occur any earlier in the race. A lap earlier and, "I would've had to run much further before I could change my bike probably losing more positions, I guess I would've abandoned then." Nys joked about his run. "We'll see how I recover from that sprint as it really isn't comfortable to run on a road with those pins under your feet."
See the full report, results and photos here.