Sven Nys was named male athlete of the year in Belgium this weekend, as the first cyclo-cross rider ever so honoured in his country. The awards were voted by Belgian journalists.
"I am not often nervous, but I am now. I have clammy hands," the 32-year-old said after accepting his award, according to sporza.be "For 10 years I have fought hard to stand here.
"I want to encourage all children who dream of being a top athlete to persevere," Nys added. "It is the most beautiful thing that there is. Try to make your dream come true."
Nys won with 513 votes, far ahead of Stijn Devolder of Quick Step with 295 votes. Tom Boonen, also of Quick Step, was fifth, with 215 votes.(SW)