UCI number 1 Sven Nys (Rabobank) made up for his disastrous showing in Igorre a couple of weeks ago by winning the seventh round of the Cyclo-cross World Cup in Hofstade, Belgium. Although Nys had mechanical problems again today, he was still strong enough to beat Erwin Vervecken (Fidea) by 14 seconds and Gerben de Knegt (AA drink-Bejan) by 26.
"This was one of the best wins in my career," said a very happy Nys after the finish. "This week is already made, whether I win by own Grote Prijs or not. I was annoyed at myself after the stupid flat tyre. I had chosen slick tyres to ride with the turbo, but that's also risky. But when the aggression took over in me, I was unstoppable."
Nys also describe the atmosphere at the race. "The hair on my arms was standing on end, with all the spectators. After five setbacks [in the last five races] I was mentally very strong. Now I still have one big goal: a new world title, where everything has to go right."
Erwin Vervecken had to be content with another second place, and commented, "It was a bit strange today. I was not as good on foot, but I was riding really well through the sand. When Nys punctured, I decided not to go flat out. That was perhaps the wrong gamble."
Wellens was hurting again, as he finished just 10th today. "I've still got too much pain from my back. I couldn't go deep at all and furthermore I still had pain in my thigh. Because of that, I also couldn't run much. When Nys flatted, I could even follow him a bit, but I couldn't really push it. Tonight the physiotherapist has to bring me solace again.
Read the entire World Cup #7 race report here.