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Bart Wellens (Fidea)
What a World Cup! In the race report that follows, you'll read how Sven Nys finally proved himself...
What a World Cup! In the race report that follows, you'll read how Sven Nys finally proved himself human in a cyclo-cross race leaving Bart Wellens in position to take over for the win. Following the race though, it was reported that Wellens kicked a spectator in frustration after repeated verbal abuse and the spraying (read: wasting of prefectly good) beer and was disqualified (but allowed to keep the win).
Confused? take the two stories one at a time. Read the race report here then browse down a story or two for the piece about the disqualification.
A shocking day for Sven Nys (Rabobank) and a good day for Bart Wellens (Fidea) has netted the latter his first World Cup victory this year in Igorre, Spain. Wellens claimed a huge win over Petr Dlask (Czech Republic) and Enrico Franzoi (Lampre - Caffita), with the gap to second place nearly a minute. Nys, a victim of various mechanical disasters, could only finish 8th at 1'54.
"This makes me very happy," said Wellens on Sporza. "Together with Sven Nys, I tried to make the race. The last lap would then decide who was the strongest. But when I saw that there were a lot of riders with problems with their derailleurs, I started running. I'm strong there.
"Hopefully I can keep it going next week in Hofstade. I would love to win a jersey, but I also know how difficult that will be."
Nys had his five race winning streak broken by the mud in Igorre. "It had to happen once, but I had a lot of bad luck," he said. "It all happened suddenly. My derailleur went into my back wheel twice, and I punctured. Bart Wellens was good, but without a mechanical I didn't have to be afraid of him. I knew where I could beat him, I was waiting for my chance."
"Actually I should have abandoned. But at the place where I wanted to pull out of the race, our coach was standing, and he convinced me to keep going," concluded Nys, who vowed that he would be back and going for the victory next Saturday in Essen.
Read the entire World Cup #6 race report and see photos and results here.