Another weekend, more Sven Nys success. The magnificent Landbouwkrediet rider has been a model of consistency since the cyclo-cross season began and he highlighted his dominance over the weekend by taking two victories in two days.
On Saturday, Nys won the GP Hasselt, thanks largely to a spectacular moment of invention with just over two laps to race. In the lead with Kevin Pauwels, Nys cleared a series of obstacles with a dizzying series of bunny-hops that thrilled the fans and put daylight between him and Pauwels.
From there on, victory was inevitable, as the powerful Nys surged through the mud to win by all of 14 seconds. A good start to the weekend by any measure, but the main event was still to come.
Sunday dawned wet and grey and cold, but a true champion such as Nys can perform in all conditions and he lined up as favourite for the fourth round of the Superprestige at Gavere.
Klaas Vantornout knew that the only possible way to upset the odds was to anticipate the in-form Nys and he jumped clear after 3 laps. Nys, meanwhile, simply waited for the right moment and then coolly bridged the gap at the end of the fifth lap.
From there on, the pair served up a fantastic duel, with each man attempting to attack on the muddy slope up to Grenier Castle. Riding aboard Selle Italia, Nys was unbreakable, however, and he resisted the plucky Vantornout’s accelerations before dispatching him in the sprint without a second thought.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been this good. I’ve certainly got more punch in my legs than other years. Klaas was very good today but there aren’t many riders that I fear in the sprint,” Nys said.
Nys has now won all four Superprestige races so far this season and holds a commanding lead in the overall classification. The Belgian is also second overall in the Bpost Bank Trophy, and although he still has some ground to make up in the World Cup after some bad luck in the first two rounds, the season is still long…
“I’m not obsessed with the classifications,” Nys said. “I’m just trying to win as many nice races as I can.”
After his virtuoso displays this weekend, who would bet against the Mozart of cyclo-cross adding to his total in the weeks and months ahead?