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Vlaamse Druivenveldrit - C1
Overijse, Belgium, December 17, 2006
Nys wins 'mother of all cross races'
Chain problems can’t keep Nys away from two big victories during his relaxed weekend
By Brecht Decaluwé
Overijse is a major classic in the cyclo-cross world; and even though the race is no longer included in a competition like the World Cup, Superprestige or GvA-trophy, it’s still a race all the big guns want to win. Sven Nys expected that he would be vulnerable this weekend, but he added another big win to his already impressive list of seventeen victories this season. Some big names were absent in Overijse, most due to illness; there was no Richard Groenendaal at the start nor Fidea-riders Bart Wellens and Klaas Vantornout.
In contrary to his defensive racing style in Essen, Nys was already gone halfway the race. Nobody saw the UCI-leader again although Nys suffered from some chain problems during the last lap. "I knew my chain was damaged and realised I needed to climb that hill with as little power as possible, eventually the chain was gone halfway up the climb," Nys explained about the incident which was similar to the one in Niel.
"For a moment I thought it was all over but my luck was that I could still use my bike in the descent. When I was in front on the top of the hill I realised that I could still win the race," Nys said. "I’m very happy to win here with the same sensations from two years ago: dominating in the sections where I needed to dominate, steering skillfully without making errors on the descents, riding with slicks which allowed me to maintain my speed on the climb and the road. Eventually my form allowed me do everything that I wanted to do," Nys explained. How was he able to win in Overijse, netting two wins in a weekend where he was expected to be off his top form? "That’s just the unpredictability of such a weekend, sometimes luck is on your side and sometimes it isn't. This year the ‘relaxed’ weekend wasn’t at all that bad," Nys said smiling.
Sven Vanthourenthout realized on the last lap that Nys was in trouble, but he was too far away to claim the win. "Spectators shouted towards me that Nys had some sort of problem, but I never saw him. Arriving on top of the hill I saw him switching bikes; the gap was too big to close it down," Vanthourenhout explained. Young Niels Albert is a local boy and managed a great third place although he had a poor start. "I wanted to be on the podium today and I succeeded in that. The reason for my bad start is the starting position I get as a U23-rider. My race starts with closing gaps," Albert explains.
World champion Erwin Vervecken is coming back to his best form after illness plagued him two weeks ago. Vervecken battled for second place but eventually finished fourth. "I crashed twice on the same place and this cut is a result of that," said the world champion, pointing at a nice slash. "My legs were alright today, but when Nys accelerates ... it’s just impossible to follow him," Vervecken admitted.
How it unfolded
Jan Soetens led the bunch through the first two kilometres, and he was closely followed by Tom Vannoppen who wanted to show his fans that he’s back at a reasonable level. Halfway through the second lap the first acceleration came from Belgian champion Sven Nys. At the end of the second lap, Nys had ten seconds on three of his Rabobank teammates: Sven Vanthourenhout, Bart Aernouts and Gerben De Knegt.
The three were joined by Niels Albert (Palmans) and world champion Erwin Vervecken (Fidea) during the third of eight laps. Nys gradually extended his lead, and after six laps he had a minute on Vervecken, Albert and Vanthourenhout. Frenchman Maxim Lefèbvre started the race in second last position but was riding in fifth position together with U23 world champion Zdenek Stybar (Fidea).
While Vanthourenhout rode away from his two rivals during the penultimate lap, Nys withstood some hard times in front. While climbing the ‘Tenotsberg’ his chain broke and Nys needed to run up the hill; luckily he could use his bike to dive towards the technical zone and change bikes. Vanthourenhout was too far away to get back to Nys, but he did manage to hold off Albert and Vervecken to claim an impressive second place.
Albert finished with a small gap on Vervecken, and Maxime Lefèbvre completed the top five. The French rider expressed his happiness on cyclocross.info, "Off course I’m happy with this result although I’m only riding for fun these days; I can’t count on a selection from France for the world cup races."
Elite Men 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank 56.46 2 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Rabobank 3 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans Collstrop 4 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 5 Maxime Lefebvre (Fra) 6 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 7 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 8 John Gadret (Fra) Ag2R Prevoyance 9 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Palmans Collstrop 10 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 11 Marek Cichosz (Pol) Entente Cycliste Raismes 12 Thijs Al (Ned) Bejan-Rings 13 Tom Vannoppen (Bel) Palmans Collstrop 14 Arne Daelmans (Bel) Palmans Collstrop 15 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 16 Jan Soetens (Bel) Jartazi-7Mobile 17 Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) 18 Ronald Mutsaars (Ned) ZZPR.nl 19 Marco Bianco (Ita) l'Arcobaleno Carraro Team 20 Peter Van Santvliet (Bel) 21 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Style & Concept 22 Bjorn Rondelez (Bel) Lingier-Versluys 23 Tom De kort (Bel) 24 Roger Hammond (GBr) Discovery Channel 25 Stijn Huys (Bel) Palmans Collstrop 26 Ian Bibby (GBr) 27 Rene Lange (Ger) 28 Dawid Romanowski (Pol) LKS Trasa 29 Ian Legg (GBr) 30 Dries Dewit (Bel) Scott USA Cycling Team 31 Torsten Wittig (Ger) BRC Zugvogel Berlin Juniors 1 Joeri Adams (Bel) 2 Marek Konwa (Pol) 3 Matthias Rupp (Swi) 4 Bart Hermans (Bel) 5 Gregor Lendenmann (Swi) 6 Sven Verboven (Bel) 7 Rob Van Der Velde (Ned) 8 Tim Debusschere (Bel) 9 Dany Lacroix (Bel) 10 Kristof Scheirs (Bel) 11 Stijn Mortelmans (Bel) 12 Julian Van Dijk (Ned) 13 Alain Page (Swi) 14 Romain Gihoul (Bel) 15 Stijn Van Driessche (Bel) 16 Lorenzo Messine (Bel) 17 Adri Nugter (Ned) 18 Christian Weiterman (Ger) 19 Bram Vlasselaer (Bel) Novices 1 Sean De Bie (Bel) 2 Gerry Druyts (Bel) 3 Niels Wytinck (Bel) 4 Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) 5 Hendrik Sweeck (Bel) 6 Bart De Vocht (Bel) Elite Women 1 Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) 2 Helen Wyman (GBr) 3 Birgit Hollmann (Ger) 4 Veerle Ingels (Bel) 5 Reza Ravenstein (Ned) 6 Hilde Quintens (Bel) 7 Nancy Bollansee (Bel) 8 Katrien Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 9 Gabriella Day (GBr) 10 Joyce Vanderbeken (Bel) 11 Maaike Polspoel (Bel) 12 Ludivine Henrion (Bel) 13 Anne Arnouts (Bel) 14 Katrien Aerts (Bel) 15 Ilse Vanderkinderen (Bel) 13 Anne Arnouts (Bel) 14 Katrien Aerts (Bel) 15 Ilse Vanderkinderen (Bel)
Courtesy of cyclo-cross.info
2005 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank