Sven Nys heading into what could be yet another record breaking weekend
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Friday, November 23, 2012

Sven Nys heading into what could be yet another record breaking weekend

by Ben Atkins at 12:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
60th Superprestige race victory awaits in Gieten after a possible sixth Koksijde World Cup

sven nysSven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) is heading into what could be yet another record breaking weekend as he takes on the World Cup race in Koksijde, Belgium, and the Superprestige Gieten, in the Netherlands. The Belgian champion has won eight of the 15 races that he has started this season, so far, with the 34-year-old enjoying similar form to that he showed at the peak of his career in the middle of the last decade.

There are not many major races on the calendar that Nys doesn’t hold the outright record of victories for, but the Duinencross in Koksijde is one that he shares with another rider. Both Nys and former three-time World champion Erwin Vervecken have won five editions of the race over the sand dunes of the North Sea coastal town, but Nys could pull clear on Saturday.

Nys stands head and shoulders over a long list of three-time winners in Gieten however, with an incredible eight victories in what is currently the only non-Belgian round of the Superprestige; should he take a ninth on Sunday, it would be his 60th career triumph in the series that he has made his own.

No single rider has been able to rival Nys so far this season, although he has been pushed close by both Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) in a number of races, with Pauwels’ teammate Klaas Vantornout refusing to yield in his latest victory in last weekend’s Aspere-Gavere Superprestige.

Whether he wins one or more of this weekend’s races could be Nys himself, as his coach Paul Van den Bosch told Het Nieuwsblad.

“Sven will not continue to win until the end of the season,” Van den Bosch explained. “Maybe on Saturday in Koksijde, or Sunday in Gieten, he will already be in trouble because had a sore throat at the beginning of the week and had to take some antibiotics.”

Gieten saw Nys continue his perfect record in the Superprestige series, with four victories out of four so far; he has suffered in both World Cup rounds this season however, haivng broken his chain in Tabor, and crashed hard in Plzeň. While Van den Bosch credits Nys himself for much of his dominance, he admits that the lack of a big rival has been a big factor.

"We are all very satisfied with his performance so far,” he said. “Eight victories plus all four Superprestige races is no mean feat. The main reasons for its success are primarily natural qualities and his way of life and work. But the disappearance of Zdenek Stybar has a lot to do with it.

“Last year, the four-leaf clover with Niels Albert, Stybar, Kevin Pauwels and Nys were often close together. Because Stybar was an explosive type like Nys, he could easily create a gap. In the last few weeks we’ve hardly seen anybody able to close the gaps behind Sven.”

Having taken victory in Plzeň, Albert currently leads the World Cup standings overall, and will be looking to open up a lead over Pauwels - who has equal points - on the Koksijde course where he took his rainbow jersey back in January. Nys will doubtless be anxious to take revenge for what was a disappointing result for himself - and that one of the dunes is now named after Albert, and not him - move ahead of Vervecken outright, and take what would be an incredible 47th World Cup race.


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