Sick Sven Nys to start his own race on New Years Day regardless
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Monday, December 31, 2012

Sick Sven Nys to start his own race on New Years Day regardless

by Ben Atkins at 9:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Injury
 
Belgian champion searching for explanation for poor Diegem performance

sven nysSven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) will start his own race in Baal, Belgium, on New Years Day, despite suffering from an unknown illness in the Diegem Superprestige yesterday. The Belgian champion found himself unable to follow the pace set by the rest of the favourites in the annual floodlit race, and could only manage a disappointing seventh place behind World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus).

"With such a weak performance and result we are looking for an explanation, of course," said Nys’ directeur sportif Jan Verstraeten. "Because Sven said that he felt ill immediately after the race in Diegem.”

Despite his 36 years, Nys’ season has so far been shaping up more like those of his peak in the middle of the last decade. With 14 victories so far, the undisputed king of cyclocross has already matched his totals for the previous two years and, while he is unlikely to match the incredible total of 30 wins that he achieved in 2006/07, this is set to be his best winter for a number of years.

Were he to continue to feel as bad as he had done in Diegem, however, Nys would be unlikely to start the GP Sven Nys on Tuesday, New Years Day. Having sought treatment though, the prospect of the race going ahead without the man it is dedicated to now looks unlikely.

“Sven has immediately started a course of antibiotics,” Verstraeten explained. “Before midday on Monday it looked best for him not to start on Tuesday, and we agreed to postpone the final decision until Tuesday morning.

“But Monday afternoon has Sven called me saying that he felt less sick and that he certainly will start.”

Nys’ Diegem performance saw his 11-point lead over Albert in the Superprestige series slip to just five. The GP Sven Nys is the sixth event in the Bpost Bank Trofee; Nys forfeit his overall ambitions for a ninth overall victory in the series after crashes and a beer-throwing fan caused him to abandon in Loenhout, but he will nevertheless be racing for pride in his own race tomorrow.

The GP Sven Nys was first organised in 2000, in the early years of the Kannibaal van Baal’s incredible career; in its 13-year history, only Mario De Clercq (2002) and Lars Boom (2006) have denied Nys victory but, if the Belgian champion is at less than 100% for his home race, this could be set to happen a third time.

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