Confident Albert returns to 2008 crash site
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Confident Albert returns to 2008 crash site

by Bjorn Haake at 7:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross

Niels Albert had a horrible crash during the warm-up for the 2008 Superprestige cross in Asper-Gavere, Belgium. He was out for six weeks but still came back to become world champion. On Sunday, Albert will be back without any thoughts about last year's mayhem.

"I want deliver a demonstration," Albert told Het Nieuwsblad. The young Belgian is confident and the booing from supporters of Sven Nys, his main rival, seems to only have made Albert stronger.

"Since this crash I learned to take things relative. In barely one hour I went from top form to hospital." Albert broke ribs and punctured his spleen when he went down during the reconnaissance ride last year.

"Now I know luck hangs only on a thin wire. Now even little things I enjoy more. A training session, a good day, a win. I am much more fanatic about my sport."

The anger in the cross last week in Niel, where he was booed by the crowd in "Nys terrain", has vanished and he is not thinking about revenge. "No, I just want to provide the usual spectacle."

And spectacular it has been so far this season. After a slow start, Nys gained momentum and the last races you never knew who would come out ahead. "It will be a fantastic duel with Nys in Asper-Gavere. When I have a good day, nobody can beat me. Not even the best Nys. This is due to our difference in age and my self confidence.

After two of the eight rounds to the Superprestige competition, the score is 1-1 (Nys won the opener in Ruddervoorde, Albert too the race in Hoogstraten). Sunday's race is the 28th edition of the race in Asper-Gavere, held on a scenic course on a military base.

The women's start is at 11:00, the U23 start at 13:15 and the elite race kicks off at 15:00. Nys and Albert will continue their duel after the race, with both riders being invited to a Belgian sports show on TV.


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