Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet - Euphony) took two wins at the weekend when he bested current cyclo-cross world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) on both occasions in Saturday’s Fidea GP Neerpelt and Sunday’s Vlaamse Industrieprijs Bosduin. Nys is preparing to defend last year’s Superprestige title with the opening race just a week away at Ruddervoorde.
Nys has recently returned from a short vacation following his Olympic cross country mountain bike participation for Belgium and despite his doubts following a long year racing cyclo-cross, road and cross country, the 36-year-old has shown he's ready to enter the next phase of the year.
The Belgian used his experience in Sunday’s race at Kalmthout and timed his efforts to perfection. The winning margin was closer than the previous day but according to Nys, knowing the course and its characteristics played a huge role in capturing his second win of the weekend.
"In a fast race as Kalmthout it is necessary to use your experience. I knew that starting early like in Neerpelt is impossible, you have to wait till the right time to strike," Nys told Nieuwsblad.
"Obviously this is unexpectedly become a fantastic weekend in anticipation of the start of the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde. Not that I’m thinking about the overall standings yet, but winning in Ruddervoorde would surely do. After two heavy training weeks in Majorca the next week I won’t go too hard. I'm hoping we will have rain and a solid 'cross in Ruddervoorde," he said.
Following his weekend of near misses, Albert was dissappointed yet unconcerned about his condition leading into the first real test in Ruddervoorde. Despite a strong showing in both races Albert had to contend with technical difficulties in the second race of the weekend and could do nothing to beat the more experienced Albert in the final sprint to the line.
"Zero to two, that's no fun," said Albert. "Today I can feel all the blame for my loss. First I made the wrong choice of tyres so I had to change my bike. Then I kicked against the tree root so I had to switch back and chase. Those problems meant I lacked freshness in the sprint. On top of that, I had to conclude that I was a tad too late in the sprint because I had no more. But I'm not complaining. In Neerpelt I lost a whole bike. Today a half, so I’m closer," Albert told Nieuwsblad.