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Cyclocross

Wellens takes over World Cup in Wetzikon

Bart Wellens led yet another Belgian sweep in cyclo-cross, this time at the fourth round of the UCI World Cup in Wetzikon, Switzerland on Sunday. Wellens - who won here two years ago, before the Swiss ‘cross classic earned World Cup status – was the first of a five-man group Belgians to take the top spots at one of the final warm-ups before the world championships in two weeks. With his win, his second World Cup victory of the year, Wellens takes over the top spot in the World Cup standings, leading defending world champion Mario De Clerq by 15 points. Wellens finished 29 seconds ahead of

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Page finishes 14th

By VeloNews Interactive

Wellens was suddenly on his own

Wellens was suddenly on his own

Photo: Cor Vos

Bart Wellens led yet another Belgian sweep in cyclo-cross, this time at the fourth round of the UCI World Cup in Wetzikon, Switzerland on Sunday.

Wellens – who won here two years ago, before the Swiss ‘cross classic earned World Cup status – was the first of a five-man group Belgians to take the top spots at one of the final warm-ups before the world championships in two weeks. With his win, his second World Cup victory of the year, Wellens takes over the top spot in the World Cup standings, leading defending world champion Mario De Clerq by 15 points.

Wellens finished 29 seconds ahead of De Clerq and string of Belgians, including Ben Berden, last year’s World Cup winner Sven Nijs and 2001 world champion Erwin Vervecken. The “honor” of the day’s top non-Belgian again fell to 2000 world champion Dutchman Richard Groenendaal.

The day started with a hard attack by Nijs, who managed to stay off the front alone for the first half of the race. Wellens managed bridge up and the two then widened the gap to 30 seconds over De Clerq and Berden.

The race looked as if it was going to come down to a contest between the two leaders when Nijs suffered a puncture on the final lap. By the time he managed a bike exchange, De Clerq and Berden had caught and passed him, while Wellens rode to an unchallenged solo victory.

This year’s World Cup series takes an unusual break in the action as the world’s best now turn their attention to Monopoli, Italy for the world championship on February 2. The World Cup then resumes on February 16 for its finale in Hoogerheide in the Netherlands, where riders can earn double the usual points awarded, leaving the series title up for grabs until the end.UCI World Cup of Cyclo-cross – Round 4 Wetzikon, Switzerland
1. Bart Wellens (B), 28.35km in 1:04:00
2. Mario De Clercq (B), at 0:29.
3. Ben Berden (B), at 0:36.
4. Sven Nijs (B), at 0:47.
5. Erwin Vervecken (B), at 1:04.
6. Richard Groenendaal (Nl),at 1:12.
7. Petr Dlask (Cz), at 1:19.
8. Christian Heule (Swi),at 1:36.
9. Jiri Pospisil (Cz), at 1:42.
10. Sven Vanthourenhout (B), at 1:42
Americans14. Jonathan Page (USA), at 2:30Overall standings – after 4 of 5 rounds
1.Bart Wellens (B), 205 pts
2. Mario De Clercq (B), 190
3t. Richard Groenendaal (Nl), 180
3t. Sven Nijs (B), 180
5. Ben Berden (B), 125
6. Sven Vanthourenhout (B), 102
7. Erwin Vervecken (B), 98
8. Jiri Pospisil (Cz), 93
9. Vaclav Jezek (Cz), 84
10. Gerben de Knegt (Nl), 83