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Vervecken sprints to win in World Cup ‘cross

By Marcel van Hoecke

Belgians ruled the sandy circuit

Belgians ruled the sandy circuit

Photo: Marcel van Hoecke

Erwin Vervecken won the fourth round of the cyclo-cross World Cup on Saturday in Koksijde, outsprinting compatriots Sven Nys and Ben Berden.

It was the 32-year-old Belgian’s first victory of the season, and the fourth time he has won in Koksijde.

Belgian racers dominated on the sandy circuit, led by a six-rider group that included Vervecken, Nys, Berden, Tom Vannoppen, Sven Vanthourenhout and world champion Bart Wellens.

Wellens fell victim to a puncture, while Vanthourenhout simply fell off the pace. Unwilling to trust his chances in a sprint finish, Nys tried to make a break in the sandy portion of the circuit, but Vervecken was stronger on the asphalt, and it showed in the finale as he outkicked the threesome, with Tom Vannoppen finishing fourth some seconds later.

Nys tried to escape in the sand, but it wasn't working

Nys tried to escape in the sand, but it wasn’t working

Photo: Marcel van Hoecke

The fifth round in the 10-race World Cup will be December 5 in Wetzikon, Switzerland.

UCI World Cup (5th of 10 rounds)
Koksijde, Belgium. November 27

1. Erwin Vervecken (B)
2. Sven Nys (B)
3. Ben Berden (B)
4. Tom Vannoppen (B)
5. Sven Vanthourenhout (B)
6. Petr Dlask (Cze)
7. Enrique Franzoi (I)
8. Bart Wellens (B)
9. Richard Groenendaal (Ned)
10. Jiri Pospisil (Cze)

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