Albert to hop off the cross bike for good?
  June 23, 2017 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Albert to hop off the cross bike for good?

by Nick Mulder at 2:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
World champion Niels Albert has threatened to leave cyclo-cross after yesterday’s Jaarmarkt Cross in Niel, Belgium. The emotional Belgian had been jeered by rival’s supporters after it had appeared that he intentionally cut off Belgian champion and eventual race winner Sven Nys.

The young Albert was clearly upset by the heckling, “Racing is not fun like this. And I have made an extra effort for those supporters by starting here,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. "If this lasts a few more seasons, I will only race on the road,” a move that would follow in the steps of former cyclo-cross world champion Lars Boom.

“I understand how Lars felt after the World Cup in Hoogerheide. In Ruddervoorde the public turned against me,” he continued. “Perhaps an impulsive response, but I am someone who races emotionally. And they say that Nys and I almost come from the same village. I don't understand that and it should stop soon. The fans should just be glad that the cross is so exciting.”

But Albert’s manager, Christoph Roodhooft, isn’t ready to lose his client to the road saying, “Of course Niels will continue crossing. He just needs to get used to it. Last year he was still the ‘little’ Albert riding against the ‘big’ Nys.”

“Nys has had the most fans for years and Niels will have to live with them. I still hope that in the future Nys supporters do not use their energy to boo others,” added Roodhooft.

For Nys, having rubbed shoulders with many other racers in the past, including Bart Wellens, it was just a typical encounter.

“I do not think it was intentional,” said Nys. “Especially because I've won here for the second time I can put Niels’ maneuver into perspective. With Bart Wellens I also had those things. That is racing and such things happen in the heat of battle.”

Albert hopes to be back on top on Sunday at the SP Asper-Gavere, where he crashed badly in the warm up last year.

Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC