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Superprestige # 8 - Vlaamse Trofee der Kempen - C1
Vorselaar, Belgium, February 22, 2003
Bart Wellens at home
Nijs takes SP title
World Champion Bart Wellens (Spaar Select) turned the tables again on rival Sven Nijs, who beat him last week in the World Cup. In front of thousands of cheering hometown fans, Wellens took the final Superprestige race in Vorselaar, thus securing his overall second place in the Superprestige series. For his part, Nijs had to be satisfied with second place today and the overall win, thus he will have to wait until next year to try and pass the 21 Superprestige win record of Roland Liboton.
Today Wellens opted to attack right from the start, and such was his pace that no-one could follow him. Erwin Vervecken and Sven Nijs tried, but they could never make up the advantage, and Wellens rode the whole race by himself, in front. Vervecken soon fell back, to be joined by Ben Berden, Mario De Clercq, and Arne Daelmans, and they finished in that order behind Wellens and Nijs.
"It was pre-planned," said Wellens afterwards. "In front of your own fans you always try a little bit harder," "Call it a calculated risk, but I have in the course of the season taken similar risks. So I chose for a super quick start. Whoever had the strength could follow me. There was no-one. Vervecken and Nijs tried, but they shot too short."
"It's logical," said Nijs. "I've had a hard training week with a view to the road season. The pedaling for 'cross wasn't there any more. And what's even more important: the freshness was also not there any more. Not in the legs, not in the head."
"I have worked hard in Spain in the last few days. Two days of 200 kilometres and the pleasure that I had on other occasions wasn't there. Maybe the road season won't happen. I'll go to the team doctor on Monday to talk about it. I think I'll be resting a lot in the coming days. Recharge the batteries again. Then I'll start on Sunday in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and try to go right through until Paris-Roubaix. But maybe it will go differently. I don't know myself yet. But no one at Rabobank should find that bad, because I got them enough publicity in winter."
There was also some bad luck during the race for Björn Rondelez, who collided just before the finish with a spectator, falling and hitting his head against a tree. He was first looked after by the Red Cross, then was taken to hospital for further examination.
In the Superprestige standings, Mario De Clercq finished in third place behind Nijs and Wellens, with Erwin Vervecken, Richard Groenendaal, Peter Van Santvliet and Tom Vannoppen following.
The U23 race was a hard fought affair between Radomir Simunek (Cze), Martin Bina (Cze), Thijs Verhagen (Ned) and Bart Aernouts (Bel), after Geert Wellens had led for the first half of the race. It finished in a four man sprint, with Radomir Simunek beating Bina and Verhagen.
In the juniors race, Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) beat Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) and final series winner Lars Boom (Ned).
Images by Luc Claessen/www.actiefotos.be
Elite 1 Bart Wellens (Bel) Spaar Select 59.28 2 Sven Nijs (Bel) Rabobank 0.26 3 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Spaar Select 0.32 4 Ben Berden (Bel) Vlaanderen-T Interim 5 Mario De Clercq (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 0.34 6 Arne Daelmans (Bel) Vlaanderen - T Interim 0.35 7 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) Rabobank 1.02 8 Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 1.06 9 Dariusz Gil (Pol) 1.07 10 Peter Van Santvliet (Bel) Spaar Select 1.26 11 Tom Vannoppen (Bel) Palmans-Collstrop 1.30 12 David Seco (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 1.32 13 Wim Jacobs (Bel) 1.50 14 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Quick Step-Davitamon 1.57 15 Petr Dlask (Cze) Author Praha 2.05 16 Bjorn Rondelez (Bel) WG Beveren 2000 2.16 17 Vaclav Jezek (Cze) Author Praha 2.28 18 Jonathan Page (USA) Richard Sachs 2.30 19 Christian Heule (Swi) Team Cologne 2.31 20 Camiel Van Den Bergh 2.32 21 Wilant van Gils (Ned) 2.34 22 Marek Chicosz (Pol) 2.35 23 Maxime Lefebvre (Fra) CV Liévin 2.36 24 Tadeusz Korzeniewski (Pol) 3.06 25 Radoslaw Czapla (Pol) 4.15 26 Nico Hendrickx (Bel) 4.48 27 Bert Vervecken (Bel) 4.56 28 Sven Van Eyndt (Bel) 5.20 29 Kevin Bossaerts (Bel) 1 lap 30 Tim Goris (Bel) 31 Peter Janssens (Bel) 34 starters U23 1 Radomir Simunek (Cze) 48.20 2 Martin Bina (Cze) 3 Thijs Verhagen (Ned) 4 Bart Aernouts (Bel) 5 Geert Wellens (Bel) 0.24 6 Wesley Van der Linden (Bel) 0.45 7 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) 0.55 8 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) 1.10 9 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) 10 Mariusz Gil (Pol) 1.27 11 Nick Sels (Bel) 2.00 12 Josef Soukup (Cze) 2.14 13 Jan Geerts (Bel) 3.24 14 Jorn Van der Veken (Bel) 2.35 15 Stijn Penne (Bel) 2.48 16 Dirk Bertels (Bel) 17 Steven Sluyts (Bel) 18 Guy Bertels (Bel) 19 Bart Thielemans (Bel) 20 Stig Geerts (Bel) 21 Sébastien Durieu (Bel) 23 starters Juniors 1 Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) 37.04 2 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) 0.20 3 Lars Boom (Ned) 0.43 4 Niels Albert (Bel) 0.57 5 Maxim Debusschere (Bel) 1.02 6 Sebastiaan Langeveld (Ned) 1.05 7 Rob Peeters (Bel) 8 Jeroen Dingemans (Bel) 1.08 9 Slawomir Pituch (Pol) 1.15 10 Egon van Kessel (Bel) 1.52 11 Finn Heitmann (Dui) 2.13 12 Harm Vandekerckhove (Bel) 2.18 13 Jonas Coopmans (Bel) 2.42 14 Joeri Kouwenhoven (Ned) 3.37 15 Kenny Geluykens (Bel) 3.25 16 Rik Senders (Ned) 3.53 17 Koen Bertels (Bel) 5.22 18 Steffen Vanderhoydonck (Bel) 6.41 18 starters Novices 1 Jan Verhaegh (Ned) 33.28 2 Bart Senders (Ned) 0.35 3 Jan Arnouts (Bel) 0.36 4 Patrick Vliegen (Ned) 0.37 5 Rik van IJzendoorn (Ned) 0.46 6 Willem Schwaner (Ned) 0.48 7 Tom Meeusen (Bel) 0.55 8 Wim Leemans (Bel) 0.56 9 Steven Wong (Bel) 0.57 10 Dennis Verhoeven (Bel) 1.31 11 Ben Arnouts (Bel) 12 Dries Pauwels (Bel) 13 Tom Lambrechts (Bel) 14 Maarten Verherstraeten (Bel) 15 Matthias Onghena (Bel) 16 Jeffrey Maes (Bel) 17 Bart Wouters (Bel) 18 Loes Sels (Bel) 19 Stef Steurs (Bel) 21 starters
Final Superprestige Standings