Can anyone stop Rabobank's Sven Nys? That's the question his competition is asking after the Belgian cyclo-cross ace took his sixth consecutive World Cup victory in Pijnacker on Sunday. Nys made it three-for-three in this season's series by defeating Richard Groenendaal Rabobank) and Gerben De Knegt (AA drink-Bejan), who were the only riders to stay with Nys.
Nys took the lead after a quarter of the race, with Groenendaal and De Knegt chasing hard a short distance behind. From the trailing pack, Sven Vanthourenhout (Rabobank) attempted to bridge the gap, but his efforts came to nothing and he concentrated on hanging on to fourth place as the rest of the field disappeared.
Groenendaal and Nys worked together to build a lead with De Knegt hanging on. Nys said afterwards that he had tried to let De Knegt through to take a turn on the front, but the Dutchman was content to settle for third. "Apparently that was the highest place feasible for him," said Nys.
Behind the lead trio the battle was on for fourth. Enrico Franzoi (Lampre - Caffita) looked strong but faded toward the finish as Vanthourenhout proved the fastest of the chasers.
For results and photos from UCI Cyclocross World Cup #3, click here.