Coming into the 2013 edition of the Koppenbergcross, world champion Sven Nys (Crelan-Euphony) was expected to grab an unprecedented tenth victory and the cobble that comes along with it. The circumstances weren't extremely selective as the course was rather dry, and he finished a disappointing fifth behind winner Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea).
Nys kept his guns quiet for most of the race, only responding to one attack from German champion Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) halfway through the race. His poker game didn't pay off as Nys was left behind by four other riders after the final descent from the Koppenberg.
"I was good but not good enough. I was able to keep up but it wasn't possible to ride away. I could not make the difference. Last year I was better. Nevertheless it should have been possible to win in these circumstances too. I wanted to be in the mix for the sprint but I made a mistake at the bottom of the climb," Nys said.
Making mistakes isn't a common thing to do for Nys so he described what happened. "After the descent I hopped off the bike at the corner before the meadow. It went very fast and when I hopped back up the bike I was in too big of a gear."
During the race it seemed like Nys wasn't enjoying a good day. He was often spotted leaving some gaps, riding at the back of the group. "The pace often dropped so it was clear that the final lap would decide the race. Every attacker would be blown back again. Only if the course is muddy does an attacker stand a chance. Riding in the top four costs a lot of energy, so I opted not to do so here. I left some gaps to ride at my own pace. On the tough sections I made up any lost ground," Nys said. "Everybody matched each other in terms of form and power. Meeusen is very punchy at the finish."
After the race Nys presented his book 'Mijn leven' [My life] to the press. Back in 2006 a first biography 'Ik, Sven Nys' [I, Sven Nys] was published, selling more than 20,000 copies. Since 2006 Nys' career has passed through some new chapters, including a MTB career with two Olympic participations and quite an addendum to his cyclo-cross domination with his world championships title as latest feat. The preface was written by his son Thibau. "It's quite a tear-jerker to see that your son wrote the preface and that he's offering me the first copy of the book," Nys said. Publisher Borgenhoff & Lamberigts said there were no plans for an English translation of the book.