By Brecht Decaluwé in Oudenaarde, Belgium
Belgian champion Sven Nys, 32, once again dominated the Koppenbergcross. It was his fifth win in a row on the famed Koppenberg and this time, he did it in extremely foul weather conditions. World Champion Lars Boom finished a close second.
"This is real 'cross, once in a while it's fun to ride a race like this. Afterwards it's not as fun when you start to feel the pain and the coldness, but during the race you're just thinking about making it to the finish line," Nys said.
Nys had to accept the presence of Boom for most of the race. The two riders entered the final lap of the Koppenbergcross only to have their duel decided on the last part of the climb. Nys powered away from his younger rival. Though both riders crashed on the slippery descent of the Koppenberg, Nys kept his gap to capture the win and first race of the GvA-trophy.
"I felt I was the best rider today. I had already noticed that I distanced Boom a couple of metres when jumping back on the bike when I wasn't even trying," Nys said. "So when I accelerated in the last lap I wasn't surprised that Boom got distanced. It feels good to win against the world champion in a direct duel," Nys said.
For full coverage of the Koppenbergcross, click here.