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GP Jozef Defoor - NE

Otegem, Belgium, January 8, 2007


Nys takes revenge for champs

Nys beats new Belgian champion Wellens in Otegem

By Brecht Decaluwé

Sven Nys’ (Rabobank) finish line reaction said it all: he was keen on revenge. “I came here to win the race!” The UCI-leader was one of the four men who formed the front group that entered the ultimate lap. Nys accelerated in the final to grab his 22nd victory of the season; the new Belgian champion Bart Wellens (Fidea) finished fourth behind Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb) and his surprisingly strong team mate Jan Verstraeten (Sunweb).

“My legs felt good although the champs were pretty tough, I gratefully made use of that. The bunch kicked off with a fierce start but I delayed intentionally; after my acceleration Vanthourenhout joined me, but another acceleration granted me a gap that proved to be enough to win,” Nys said on cyclo-cross.info.

The man in second place wasn’t too disappointed with that position. “I got tired by the end of the race and had to let go of Nys, who wanted to make up for yesterday’s race,” Vanthourenhout said.

New Belgian champion Wellens had a party-filled evening before the race, but did show up in Otegem for the classic ‘revenge for the champs’. “It went surprisingly well but with two laps to go I felt all energy slipping away. I tried to attack but of course they didn’t let me go; when the others started attacking it was over for me. That’s not a big surprise after such a tough championship and the celebrations that accompany the win,” Wellens explained.

Jonathan Page (Morgan Blue) said he didn’t go to well today although he managed to get back into third after a bad start. “From then on [2nd lap] I couldn’t hold on any wheel… had no power, basically I suffered a lot until the race was over,” Page tried to downplay his bad day. “Maybe I have some ups and downs because I don’t have such a base as I didn’t race in November and December,” Page explained.

How it unfolded

Davy Commeyne (Palmans) managed the hole shot but with Nys and Wellens more at the back. Nys and Vanthourenhout soon took over the command. During the second lap Page managed to get himself near the front as well but while he dropped back, Wellens moved up to the front together with Soetens.

The new Belgian champion immediately tried to surprise his companions but that didn’t work out. When Nys accelerated in the ultimate lap, only Vanthourenhout could follow. A second attack was enough to get to the finish on his own to grab his 22nd win of the season ahead of his former team mate Sven Vanthourenhout. Soetens got himself on the podium after a great race, and Wellens got fourth before youngsters Klaas Vantornout (Fidea) and Wesley Van der Linden (Chocolade Jacques).


Elite Men

1 Sven Nys (Bel) Rabobank Continental Team 2 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob 3 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Sunweb-Projob 4 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 5 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 6 Wesley Van Der Linden (Bel) Chocolade Jacques 7 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Palmans Collstrop 8 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Style & Concept 9 Jan Soetens (Bel) Jartazi - Promo Fashion 10 Jonathan Page (USA) Morgan Blue - BSI 11 Pedro Baelen (Bel) Saey - Deschacht Sportgroep 12 Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb-Projob 13 Maxim Debusschere (Bel) Sunweb-Projob 14 Stijn Penne (Bel) Wielerclub "Onder ons - Parike"