January Denuwelaere Takes Late December Win at Bredene
by David Evans
Relative unknown January Denuwelaere (Style and Concept) out sprinted World Champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step) in Bredene on Thursday.
The race is not part of the Superprestige or World Cup classifications, meaning some big names such as Bart Wellens, Sven Nys and Kevin Pauwels took the opportunity for a rare festive season day off.
Denuwelaere, Stybar and Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus) rode away together early on in the race. Vanthourenhout found himself gapped, leaving the 23 year old former motocross rider Denuwelaere battling the reigning World Champion for his first win at this level. A mistake by Stybar in the sandbox allowed Denuwelaere to get back onto his wheel after previously fading. Stybar tried to out-muscle his young companion by leading out the sprint. A strong headwind put paid to this display and Denuwelaere was able to pass the rainbow jersey at the last.
Speaking to a Belgian journalist, Denuwelaere said “I’ve surprised myself and everyone.”
Vanthourenhout held on for the final podium spot and a slightly sick Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) finished 25″ down in 4th.
Elite Men’s Results:
|6||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||BEL|
|28||Maxim DE BUSSCHERE||BEL|
|29||Kevin VAN HOOVELS||BEL|
|32||Guillaume VAN KEIRSBULCK||BEL|
|35||Valentijn VAN DE VELDE||BEL|