After a 82 km race Nissen beat German Markus Kaufmann by 44 seconds. Belgian cyclo-cross star Sven Nys was third. “We stuck together until 10 km from the finish”, said Nissen.
“Then fatigue really started to come into play and Robert Mennen and I remained at the front. I thought Mennen was stronger, but I rode a smart race and managed to drop him.”
Germany’s Mennen eventually crossed the line in fourth, followed by Frans Claes. “I was leading when Sören surprised me with a maneuver at a crucial moment”, Mennen explained. “This is a beautiful track with a great future!”
Joris Massaer suffered a puncture at an important moment in the race and lost valuable points, just like Sébastien Carabin. Ronald De Becker qualified for the World Championship by finishing in the top 20.
Alice Pirard won the women’s event. The Belgian marathon champion had a 2’30” lead over Swiss miss Milena Landtwing and 6’22” on German Ann-Katrin Hellstern.
“Landtwing was hard to beat”, Pirard reacted. “On a long climb 10 km from the finish I could finally drop her. After a poor performance on Friday this is a sweet revenge.”
Landtwing recognised Pirard’s superiority. “When she attacked I had no answer. Now I’m aiming for a top 10 place at the European Championship next week”, said the Swiss.