Wellens at the 2007 Middelkerke race.
|Full name||Bart Wellens|
10 August 1978 |
|Discipline||Cyclo-cross and road|
|2004–2015||Fidea Cycling Team|
Bart Wellens (born 10 August 1978 in Vorselaar) is a former professional cyclo-cross cyclist from Belgium. He starred in the reality television series Wellens en Wee on Flemish TV-channel VT4. In this series, Wellens together with his parents, Lucien and Wiske, and his other teammates are shown in their daily lives and preparations for the weekend races.
In the Under 23 category, Wellens battled Sven Nys. Wellens won the Under 23 Belgian championships in 1997 beating Nys while Nys got revenge at the UCI Under 23 World Cyclo-Cross championships a month later. Wellens had to settle for second place. The following year Wellens again finished second to Nys at the World Championships. Nys then left the category and Wellens became the Under 23 World Champion for two years in a row. Wellens turned professional in 2000 with the Spaar Select team. In 2002/03 season, Wellens won the World Cup and then won the Elite World Championships.
In the following season 2003/04 he dominated the sport and beat rival Sven Nys in both the Gazet van Antwerpen and the Superprestige series. Wellens also beat Nys to become Belgian champion and as defending champion Wellens retained his World title after narrowly winning a sprint against Mario De Clercq. With these wins together with a third place overall in the World Cup, Wellens was very close to being the first cyclist to win the Grand Slam of cyclo-cross. Entering the final World Cup event where there were double points on offer, Wellens needed to win or that place in the top five ahead of Nys. However, in the end it was Richard Groenendaal who won the race and took the World Cup lead. Wellens could not compete in the final events of the Superprestige and the Gazet van Antwerpen due to injury, despite having already won both classifications.
Wellens started the 2004/05 season as World Champion but the season started poorly with a lack of form followed by injury. However his form returned toward the end of the season where he won the Grand Prix Rouwmoer in Essen, a Gazet van Antwerpen race.
In the 2005 edition of the Vlaamse Druivenveldrit Overijse, Wellens kicked a spectator who was allegedly throwing beer at him. Wellens went on to win the event after Boom slipped in the final lap and initially was awarded the win despite the threat of disqualification. Several days later after a meeting of the three race commissionaires and the UCI, Wellens was disqualified and Boom was awarded the win. Later Wellens was served with a ban from racing during the first month (September) of the following season (2006/07).
His younger brother Geert is also a skilful non-professional cyclo-cross cyclist. Geert was professional with the Bart's Fidea cycling team for one year.
Major victories (7)
- 2 – UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships 2003, 2004
- 2 – Belgian National Cyclo-cross Championships 2004, 2007
- 1 – UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup 2003
- 1 – Superprestige 2004
- 1 – Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy 2004
- 2008 – Fidea Cycling Team
- 1st, Stage 1, Volta a Lleida
- "Cyclo-cross World Cup: Wellens going for "Grand Slam"". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
- "Groenendaal scores double surprise!". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
- "Problems for the Wellenses". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
- "Bart Wellens injured". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
- "First win for Bart Wellens". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
- "Wellens hits spectator". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-01-07.
- "Wellens disqualified after hitting spectator". Cyclingnews.com. Retrieved 2008-01-07.