On-form Sven Nys could be set for 50th World Cup victory in Rome
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Friday, January 03, 2014

On-form Sven Nys could be set for 50th World Cup victory in Rome

by Ben Atkins at 6:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
 
Yet another landmark on the horizon for the Kannibaal, despite no chance of series victory

sven nysHe may have no chance of taking the series overall, but an on-form Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) could be set to take his 50th World Cup race victory in Rome, Italy, on Sunday. The World champion has yet to score a victory in the 2013/14 World Cup so far, and disasters in the first two races mean that he has only a slim mathematical chance of taking an eighth title, but the World champion could set yet another personal landmark.

Although Nys was only able to take sixth place in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium, on Boxing Day, improved form and muddier courses saw him win his last three races, in Loenhout on December 27th and Diegem on December 29th - where he kissed his Colnago goodbye - then his own race in Baal on January 1st - where he offered his new Trek a similar tribute.

Nys snapped his chain in the first race of the series, in Valkenberg, Netherlands, and abandoned the race, scoring no points, then a crash in Tábor, Czech Republic, saw him take just 29 points for 22nd place. Fourth places in both Koksijde and Namur, Belgium, saw the Kannibaal take back points on competition leader Lars van der Haar (Rabobank), but the young Dutchman cemented his lead further with victory in Zolder.

The result of Nys’ relative disaster in the World Cup this season is that the World champion sits in ninth place in the classification, on 199 points, 138 behind van der Haar, who has 337. With 80 points for a win, there is a mathematical possibility for Nys to win the series with just two races left, but this would be virtually impossible.

Failure to net a single victory in the World Cup would be only the second time for Nys in his 15-year career to date. The 2010/11 season has been the only time this has happened so far, although he did win 14 other races and win both the GvA (now Bpost Bank) Trofee and the Superprestige series.

So far this season Nys has taken ten victories, and leads the Bpost Bank Trofee; his victory in Diegem has also pulled him to within six points of series leader Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) in the Superprestige, having previously written off a 13th victory.

While the days of 30 victories a season, which he scored in 2006/07, may be behind Nys, just one more victory on Sunday would see the rider regarded as “the saviour of cyclocross” by many in Belgium, set yet another milestone in the sport that may never be matched.

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