Bina takes Czech win
By Brecht Decaluwé
Belgian cyclo-cross champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner) has opened his 2008/09 season in style, winning a tough GP Neerpelt in his homeland. The 32 year-old had spent much of the European summer training for, and riding at, the mountain biking event at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China but showed his versatility with a solid transition back to 'cross.
Nys was challenged throughout the event by compatriot Bart Wellens (Fidea Cycling Team), who finished the race just seven second in areas of the rider. Young Czech rider Zdenek Stybar (Fidea Cycling Team) rounded out the podium some 20 seconds behind his team-mate.
"It certainly wasn't the easiest victory of my career," Nys told Sporza. "Wellens was strong today, he did a good job. The power is good, but I still need to adapt to the cyclo-cross techniques a little more."
The race proved a setback to Niels Albert's season, with the rider sustaining injuries following a crash in the race (see separate story).
Elsewhere in Europe Martin Bina claimed victory at this home event the Grand Prix Olomouc in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Bina ou-tclassed Belgian rival Jan Verstraeten (Sunweb Projob) to claim the victory while Petr Dlask (Fidea Cycling Team) filled the podium with his third place finish.