Belgian cyclo-cross ace Niels Albert has hit back at claims from four-time world champion Roland Liboton claiming that the 21 year-old thinks he's the next Eddy Merckx. In response to Liboton's comments, made in the Belgian press, Albert told Sporza: "Liboton may criticise me, but I never think that I'm like Merckx."
Albert has made his mark in the elite ranks this season, but the Palmans rider's main goal remains the U23 world championship title in Treviso on January 26. "I'm satisfied with my season so far," he said. "I feel better than previous years - I have more power in my legs. And the others should not forget that in February I'll only be 22. I can grow stronger yet."
The cyclo-cross calendar is jam packed during the next six weeks, with three World Cups and the World Championships, but Albert insists the busy schedule will help him maintain form. "I recuperate quite fast," he said. "So these weeks with many events suit me well."
"The 2008 World Championships are naturally one of my big targets. But there are still other riders who have a chance there."