The long and short of Niels Albert's misfortune in Gavere is that Sven Nys has lost of the prime contenders for his crown as the best rider in European 'cross - for two weeks, anyway.
It's been refreshing for spectators, commentators and observers that Albert has arrived as a major challenger to Nys in '08-09. Other competitors have welcomed the pique in interest provided by the young Belgian's performances, and many were upset to see him exit the scene for a temporary spell on the sidelines following his crash and consequent broken spleen last weekend.
Albert and Nys had been tied on points heading into the third round of the Superprestige series after the latter's stunning win in Veghel-Eerde. After the Gavere event Nys holds a four-point advantage over Sunweb's Klaas Vantornout, while Albert drops to fifth in the rankings.