The Superprestige overall series is still wide open coming into the fourth round in Asper-Gavere on Sunday, with three different riders winning the first three races. Although he has won the overall series 13 times during his career and 64 individual rounds, Belgian champion Sven Nys has yet to claim a Superprestige victory this season, and will be determined to add a 10th win in the tricky course around the Grenier castle in Gavere.
Mathieu van der Poel (BKCP Powerplus) currently leads the Superprestige standings with 40 points, one better than Nys, having won the opening round in Gieten. Dutch champion Lars van der Haar (Giant-Shimano) is third with 38 points, making for a close battle between the top three. Sunweb-Napoleon Games teammates Kevin Pauwels and Klaas Vantornout are tied with 34 points for fourth, while Ruddervoorde winner Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) is one further point down in sixth.
A relatively warm and dry autumn has made for courses that have been less selective than usual. Nys demonstrated his prowess on a heavier course in Niel on Tuesday, where he soloed to victory over Wout Van Aert and Kevin Pauwels.
Nys has been biding his time waiting for the bad weather to come. "I'm waiting until the weather will change. I'm hoping rain will start to come down," Nys said. "The only thing we had so far were fast races. The races are not hard enough. For sure Gavere will be a different race because of the course profile."
Van der Poel favors the harder, faster courses and was hoping the rain would hold off, which it looks like will happen. "If it's muddy then I realize that it's going to be too hard for me," he told Cyclingnews after Ruddervoorde. "It's the one race I have to survive. The other Superprestige rounds suit me well so if Gavere goes well I can start aiming for the overall classification."
Brecht Decaluwé contributed to this report.