After Mallorca training, Nys feels sharp again for Superprestige
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

After Mallorca training, Nys feels sharp again for Superprestige

by Bjorn Haake at 7:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
Also hopes to do well in Koppenbergcross

sven nysAfter a season that has not gone to his liking so far, Sven Nys hopes for better days after a round of training on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Nys heads into the Superprestige in Zonhoven on Sunday and Monday's Koppenbergcross with renewed energy.

His coach, Paul van den Bosch, saw that the training did Nys some good last week. "Everything points to that things are going ok," Van Den Bosch told Het Nieuwsblad. Van den Bosch saw a fresher looking Nys when the two traveled to Zonhoven on Thursday, to check out the Superprestige route.

Physically Nys has improved as well. "He is once again able to get his heart rate up, something that he couldn't do the last few weeks," Van Den Bosch said. The master of the bunny-hop has another advanatge in the upcoming races. "The technical parcours puts him in a situation to close the gap [to the top guys] even further."

The Superprestige is the one series where Nys still has a shot. He will be very motivated for that one. The Koppenbergcross on Monday (a holiday in Belgium) is a similar story, although nobody needs to motivate Nys for that one. He has won the Koppenbergcross no less than seven times. The tough route, taking in part of the cobbled climb of the infamous Koppenberg, is undoubtedly his race.

His coach is confident ahead of the tough weekend. "Zonhoven as well as the Koppenbergcross are two races to score. It is the first weekend of the season with two cross races. Then you have to wait and see how the body reacts to the efforts of the previous day. In the past, it was apparent that Sven could deal with it well."

Nys looked set to another dominating winter, having won the cross races Erpe-Mere and Neerpelt early in the season. Then it became quiet around Nys and once the important races started, he was nowhere to be seen and even abandoning races. Van den Bosch 'blames' competitor Zdenek Stybar for part of that. "With seven wins Stybar took everything away. Sven still had the most wins after Stybar, so I am not worried."

It does not account for the fact that even the podium in the big races was tough to achieve for Nys. Besides the usual suspects like Niels Albert, Kevin Pauwels or Klaas Vantornout, others have stepped up. Bart Aernouts is on an even higher level than last year and Steve Chainel has also had some good results.

Van den Bosch is realistic. "The domination that Sven had shown for years is not possible anymore. It wouldn't be good for the sport of cyclocross if a 34-year-old still rides away from all the others. I don't see the lower results as a decline from Sven. The competition, most of all Stybar, has gotten stronger and riders like Aernouts and Pauwels showed it this season. Independent from that, Nys is as competitive as in the past and he wants to show it a few more times this season. Starting with the Zonhoven-Koppenberg double."


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