Sven Nys won the fourth round of the Gazet van Antwerpen trophy held in Essen over the weekend in dramatic style which emphasised his class when it comes to 'cross. The win was his 26th in the series and 14th of the season.
Vervecken showed early in the race that he is once again regaining the kind of form that has won him three world titles as he blasted away from the start to take the early lead. But by the end of the first lap the World champion was relegated to chasing as Nys hit the gas pedal chasing the points on offer at the end of the second lap.
Weather conditions and tyre choice played a major factor in the race as the frozen ground made the conditions tough going. Nys who opted for tyres with bigger tread seemed to have no problems with the conditions and easily rode away from the competition. After passing the finish line on the second lap taking the three points on offer in the process, Nys sat up and let his chasers, Zdenek Stybar (Fidea), Richard Groenendaal (AA Drink) and Klaas Vantornout (Fidea) latch back onto his wheel. A little later in the lap, Wellens had also joined the front of the race.
Nys, however, was merely playing with his rivals. After another attack later in the race, only Stybar was able to stay with the Belgian, but one acceleration was all he needed to get rid of the Czech. Nys soloed to the win as team-mate Lars Boom out sprinted Stybar for the second step on the podium.