By Brecht Decaluwé in Koksijde
Sven Nys overcame a seemingly habitual bad start in round four of the UCI World Cup on Saturday in Koksijde and went on to take his second World Cup of the season. The Belgian bided his time to slice through the elite men's field and take his third consecutive victory on the sandy Koksijde circuit with a thrilling last lap surge.
Nys ended up riding in front with team-mate Lars Boom and Fidea's Klaas Vantornout. Dutch champion Boom was the first to drop away after a mistake in the sand, and on the final lap Nys powered away from Vantornout on a tough uphill sector and soloed to victory, while World Champion Erwin Vervecken powered past his fading team-mate to take second, just holding off a surging Lars Boom.
"It's becoming a habit for me to start off poorly, but actually it was my purpose today as there was a headwind in the start line so I searched for some shelter in the group. I got boxed in and I heard riders crashing so I didn't think I was on the right place there," Nys laughed.
"I couldn't ride as fast as I wanted because not everybody has the force to ride up where I normally still would be riding. Anyway, I never panicked and once I wanted to be back in front it worked out in one lap," Nys explained. "From then on the selection was done automatically as everybody makes mistakes sooner or later," Nys said.