World Cup Cyclocross
G.P. de Belgique
Kalmthout, Belgium, December 19, 1999
Wellens takes one from Nijs
The fourth World Cup cyclocross event in Kalmhout, Belgium, saw Bart Wellens winning in the mud and snow, 19 seconds ahead of favorite Sven Nijs who scored his second major "defeat" in a row. Veteran Adri van der Poel was 49 second behind.
In the first lap a there was a leading sextet with some of the expected top contenders. The Rabobank trio, Groenendaal, van der Poel and Nijs, the lone rider Wellens and the two slightly less expected Dutchmen Wim de Vos and Gerben de Knegt.
Wellens attacked on the second lap and only Groenendaal could bridge up but when he slipped on the third lap. Wellens got ten seconds again. Groenendaal however was stronger on the muddy part and once again caught the Belgian, but when both slipped on the fourth lap Nijs was able to catch up with them at the beginning of lap five.
Wellens soon got another ten seconds gap in the technical part to the other two and when Groenendaal busted a wheel he was gone, down to tenth, since had had to run with his bike for 800 meters to the pits. In the mean time, Wellens held off Nijs to win by 19 seconds.
Elite: 1. Bart Wellens (Bel) 55.40 2. Sven Nijs (Bel) 0.19 3. Adri van der Poel (Ned) 0.49 4. Erwin Vervecken (Bel) 1.02 5. Peter van Santvliet (Bel) 1.14 6. Wim de Vos (Ned) 1.38 7. Richard Groenendaal (Ned) 1.44 8. Daniele Pontoni (Ita) 1.49 9. Gerben de Knegt (Ned) 1.50 10. David Willemsens (Bel) 1.55 11. Christophe Morel (Fra) Women: 1. Hanka Kupfernagel-Wittig (Ger) 2. Daphny Van Den Brand (Ned) 3. Inge Velthuis (Ned)World Cup standings after 4 rounds:
1. Sven Nijs (Bel) 220 pts 2. Richard Groenendaal (Ned) l73 3. Mario De Clerc (Bel) 140 4. Erwin Vervecken (Bel) 134 5. Adrie van der Poel (Ned) 125