Britons Oliver Stockwell and Oscar Nilsson-Julien have taken the lead on the first night of the AVS Cup, the so-called Future Six Days of Ghent for young riders.
Stockwell and Nilsson-Julien gobbled up 21 points to move one point clear of Belgian tandem Nicolas Wernimont and Maxwell De Broeder, who won the one-lap time-trial. Dutchmen Mel van der Veekens/Philip Heijnen are in third with 11 points.
“We didn’t expect this, competing from day one,” Nicolas Wernimont said after his second place on the opening night. “I was inactive for two months due to stomach issues and I’m still building up. My partner Maxwell had some bad luck too, but things are going the right way for both of us. I’m starting to find my fast legs. The points race was a bit rough. I made a mistake by going high just as I had to do the hand-sling. I was stuck in the second part and I had to go full throttle to get back to the front. We are where we want to be in the standings. If we can both keep that good feeling until Sunday, then a podium place should definitely be possible.”