By VeloNews Interactive wire services
Belgian cyclo-crosser Sven Nijs (Rabobank) continued his late-season charge on Sunday, winning the Grand Prix of the Netherlands, round five of the six-round World Cup series. Nijs beat Czech Petr Dlask and Dutchman Richard Groenendaal to take his second World Cup win of the 2000-01 season.
Nijs, Dlask and Groenendaal jumped out to the early lead in Zeddam, opening up a gap on chasers such as Erwin Vervecken, Mario De Clercq and Gerben De Knegt. But with three laps remaining, Groenendaal fell back, victim of a mechanical problem. The world champion chased back, only to crash on the second-to-last lap.
With Groenendaal falling off, Nijs went on the attack and soloed to a 10-second win over Dlask, with Groenendaal another 37 seconds behind.
Nijs, who suffered from a knee injury early in the season, has returned to form at precisely the right moment — a week before the Belgium national championship and less than a month from the world championships in Tabor, the Czech Republic, his two big objectives for the season.
Copyright 2001 AFP
GRAND PRIX OF THE NETHERLANDS, WORLD CUP NO. 5. January 7.
1. Sven Nijs (B), 1:03:35; 2. Petr Dlask (Cz), at 0:10; 3. Richard Groenendaal (Nl), at 0:47; 4. Erwin Vervecken (B), at 1:05; 5. Mario De Clercq (B), at 1:06; 6. Gerben De Knegt (Nl), at 1:08; 7. Bart Wellens (B), at 1:37; 8. Wim de Vos (Nl), at 1:42; 9. Peter Vansantvliet (B), at 1:56; 10. Jiri Pospisil (Cz), at 2:16.
WORLD CUP (after five of six races)
1. Groenendaal, 250 pts; 2. Wellens, 201; 3. Vervecken, 190; 4. De Clercq, 183; 5. Dlask, 173.