Nys going strong in Zonhoven
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Nys going strong in Zonhoven

by Bjorn Haake at 11:24 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross

Sven Nys is still going strong as the cyclocross season nears its end and with a late attack he surprised the five-man lead group to win the Superprestige  in Zonhoven, Belgium. Niels Albert managed only fifth place. World Champion Zdenek Stybar finished second on the day and is now tied with Albert for the overall, with one race to go.

Nys was quite happy with his 51st Superprestige race win. "The old guy is not done yet," he said to Sporza. "Today, experience played a big factor."

Nys knew how to best use his competitors to his advantage. "In the last lap, I watched out that  Stybar closed the gap, and that was the right choice. I waited until the last climb to attack. There, I rode Stybar off my wheel with power."

While the course was deep and very difficult, it was also very pretty. "I think this is a great cyclocross race. Together with the Nationals and the Koppenberg, this one is in my top three. This is really a course for Albert, but I like tough races, too."

Albert denied that he was mentally and physically tired. "I train really hard for these races, but since the Belgian Nationals, I have not once had good legs."

The overall is now a pretty tight affair, with Albert and Stybar tied on points. "I can still win the overall in the Superprestige, but with the form I am in right now, I am not sure if this will work out," Albert said to Sporza  after the race. "The only thing I want right now is vacation." The last Superprestige race is in one week, in Vorselaar.

Klaas Vantornout became the talk of today's race, but not for reasons he'd care to remember. On top of a descent he fell over his handle bars and slid down a bit - while his bike stayed on the top of the climb. "I had to run back up to get my bike. That cost me some power that I was lacking in the final lap. In the end I was just dead."

Vantornout still finished one place ahead of Albert, in fourth. But it was Albert who managed to break up the large front group of about ten racers halfway through. There weren't enough climbs for a natural selection, so Albert took things in his own hands.

But Nys, Stybar, Kevin Pauwels and Vantornout stayed put and all finished ahead of Albert. Jonathan Page ended the day in ninth place.

1.      Sven Nys
2.     Zdenek Stybar (Cze)
3.     Kevin Pauwels (Bel)
4.     Klaas Vantornout (Bel)
5.     Niels Albert (Bel)
6.     Erwin Vervecken (Bel)
7.     Bart Aernouts (Bel)
8.     Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel)
9.     Jonathan Page (USA)
10.     Radomir Simunek (Cze)
11.     Gerben de Knegt (Ned)
12.     Thijs Al (Ned)
13.     Petr Dlask (Cze)
14.     Enrico Franzoi (Ita)

Superprestige standings after 7 from 8 races

1 Niels Albert 95 points
2 Zdenek Stybar 95
3 Sven Nys 86
4 Klaas Vantornout 78
5 Kevin Pauwels 77



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