IMG_0708-vi.jpg photos by Bart Hazen of the Daily Peloton

Erwin Vervecken feels quite at home in Koksijde, Belgium. For the fifth time in his long career, the Belgian won on the sand dunes of Belgium, taking the victory in a Fidea-dominated race, with four Fidea riders in the top five. Vervecken is clearly coming back to form, and after steadily improving results this season, used his sprinting ability to beat UCI Points Leader Sven Nys in the finishing stretch for the win.

After neutralizing early attacks by Klaas Vantournout and Sven Nys, Fidea had an impressive four riders in the the lead group of six late in the race, and took turns attacking Nys on the last lap. First Wellens took to the front, then Stybar, and when Nys made his final late attack, Vervecken stayed close. Nys took to the final pavement stretch with a lead, but kept looking back, wary of the sprinting abilities of Vervecken. Vervecken closed the gap, sat in the draft, and sprinted to victory past a gassed Nys. Stybar, Wellens, and Pauwels finished in third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. American Jonathan Page did not finish.

Vervecken was delighted with the win, and was clearly not expecting a victory going into the day. The tall Belgian barely made the World Cup team, but said his win was “an unexpected success” and realizes he’s slowing. “If you’re 36 years, you know that your best years are behind us,” he said.

Wellens was upset after the finish with his fourth place, and was unhappy that the lead group had so many Fidea riders, despite his teammate’s victory. He complained that Nys raced for him to lose, and instead of escaping with just him on the last lap, a situation in which “he [Nys] would win eight times out of ten in a sprint,” Wellens accused Nys of letting the chasing Fidea riders to rejoin to reduce Wellens’ chance of victory.

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Men’s Results:

119VERVECKEN ErwinBEL1:05:5180
212NYS SvenBEL+00:0170
322STYBAR ZdenekCZE+00:0265
413WELLENS BartBEL+00:0460
514PAUWELS KevinBEL+00:0855
615VANTORNOUT KlaasBEL+00:1050
74DE KNEGT GerbenNED+00:4948
816AERNOUTS BartBEL+00:5946
925DLASK PetrCZE+01:1144
112AL ThijsNED+01:4840
1224SIMUNEK RadomirCZE+01:5039
1338HEULE ChristianSUI+01:5138
1432BIANCO MarcoITA+01:5737
155VAN GILS WilantNED+02:5136
1640BAZIN NicolasFRA+02:5835
1718PEETERS RobBEL+02:5934
1827ZLAMALIK MartinCZE+03:0833
1961WALSLEBEN PhilippGER+03:1332
203GROENENDAAL RichardNED+03:5331
2123BINA MartinCZE+04:0430
2335FONTANA Marco AurelioITA+04:1628
2450VOSS PaulGER+04:1727
2526AUSBUHER KamilCZE+04:3826
267VAN AMERONGEN ThijsNED+04:5125
2741CHAINEL SteveFRA+04:5924
2844METLICKA VaclavSVK+05:0323
2952GIL MariuszPOL+05:0622
3033URSI FabioITA+05:0821
3148SICKMUELLER JohannesGER+06:2920
3229KASEK DavidCZE+06:3719
3353FIELD IanGBR+06:4218
349VAN LEEUWEN PatrickNED+06:4617
3536GAMBINO AlessandroITA+06:5516
3628KYZIVAT VladimirCZE+07:0715
3855BAUSCH GustyLUX-1LAP13
3957PARBO JoachimDEN-2LAP12