Cyclocross

Wellens takes Superprestige in Gieten

He sure isn't the "Lion King." Unlike the case in road racing, it appears as though there is no “curse of the rainbow” in cyclo-cross, as Bart Wellens continues to excel, even while toting the world champion’s jersey this year. Wellens took first in Sunday’s Superprestige in Gieten, in northern Holland. Wellens was the only rider able to stay with an early attack from fellow Belgian Tom Vannoppen. Vannoppen charged off the front in the opening lap, dropping most of the field. Once Wellens connected with the day’s early leader, the two stayed together for only a single lap as Wells took

By Marcel Van Hoecke, Special to VeloNews

Once in the lead, Wellens remained in charge

Once in the lead, Wellens remained in charge

Photo: Marcel Van Hoecke

He sure isn’t the “Lion King.” Unlike the case in road racing, it appears as though there is no “curse of the rainbow” in cyclo-cross, as Bart Wellens continues to excel, even while toting the world champion’s jersey this year.

Reconnoitering the sandy stretch before the start.

Reconnoitering the sandy stretch before the start.

Photo: Marcel Van Hoecke

Wellens took first in Sunday’s Superprestige in Gieten, in northern Holland. Wellens was the only rider able to stay with an early attack from fellow Belgian Tom Vannoppen. Vannoppen charged off the front in the opening lap, dropping most of the field.

Once Wellens connected with the day’s early leader, the two stayed together for only a single lap as Wells took advantage of bike handling difficulties Vannoppen encountered along the route of a tough course.

Sven Nijs

Sven Nijs

Photo: Marcel Van Hoecke

Wellens’ performance is a good sign for the defending World Cup champion just a week before the third round of this year’s World Cup series, in Wetzikon, Switzerland.

Current World Cup leader Sven Nijs finished third on the day after crashing early in the race.

Richard Groenendaal

Richard Groenendaal

Photo: Marcel Van Hoecke

Nijs said later that he had been fending off a cold and had only decided at the last moment to come to Gieten.

American Jonathan Page had a good start on Sunday, joining up with a strong chase group. He slowed slightly toward the finish, crossing the line in 23rd place.

Jonathan Page

Jonathan Page

Photo: Marcel Van Hoecke

Results
1. Bart Wellens
2. Tom Vannoppen
3. Sven Nys
4. Peter Van Santvliet
5. Ben Berden
6. Erwin Vervecken
7. Richard Groenendaal
8. Arne Daelmans
9. Sven Vanthourenhout
10. Dariusz Gil
11. Wilant van Gils
12. Jan Verstraeten
13. Petr Dlask
14. Davy Commeyne
15. Maxime Lefebvre
16. Maarten Nijland
17. Wim Jacobs
18. Gerben de Knegt
19. Camiel van den Bergh
20. Vaclav Jezek
21. Marek Cichosz
22. Tim Van Nuffel
23. Jonathan Page
24. Thijs Verhagen
25. Tom de Kort Overall standings
(After 4 of 8 rounds)
1. Bart Wellens (B) 115 pts
2. Sven Nys (B) 97
3. Sven Vanthourenhout (B) 68
4. Ben Berden (B) 68
5. Tom Vannoppen (B) 64

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