Belgian cross racers return
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Belgian cross racers return

by Bjorn Haake at 4:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross

Bart Wellens and Sven Vanthourenhout are ready to return to the Belgian cross scene. Wellens will return to the World Cup race in Koksijde on November 28, while Vanthourenhout starts already this weekend in Hasselt and Hamme-Zogge.

Wellens suffered from the  Cytomegalo virus since mid September, but now he is eager to get back. "Since I felt well, I could have started earlier," he said to "In agreement with doctor Peter T'Seyen and my team management, we opted to wait for my blood values following my first cross workouts."

The results were good, so only one think can stop Wellens now, the non-selection by national coach Rudy de Bie. "This would really surprise us," Telenet-Fidea's team manager Danny de Bie said. "Some Belgians finished between 15th and 30th in the World Cup. We assume that Bart can, even in his current condition, do better than that. But the decision is of course Rudy's."

 Wellens agrees. "The level is already pretty high in the races, but I think can follow my plan." He added that the sickness could come back. "It's always a possibility. But I am hopeful for the future. With the rest that I undoubtedly had, there is a chance of a very strong January."

Vanthourenhout hasn't raced since November 1 and did  a relaxing week in Mallorca to recharge his batteries, after some serious overtraining. "I feel fresher than a few weeks ago," Vanthourenhout said to Sporza. "In Mallorca I trained with Wellens. I realized that I still have a lot of work to do."

The timeout in Spain motivated him again to race cyclocross. "But it wouldn't have made sense to return to a race as tough as Gavere," he said. "I intentionally didn't schedule any tests for this week. I want to go to the races not preoccupied. After a few laps how my condition is."

He will have to start from the back end of the peloton. "That doesn't bother me ... we'll see where I'll come out."


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