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Sven Nys (Crelan)
World cyclo-cross champion confirms his career plans
Sven Nys will be 37 in June, but after racing successfully at the highest level since 1998 and recently winning his second world title, the veteran Belgian rider has confirmed that he will race on until at least March 2015, with an option for a third year.
Nys had worried Belgian 'cross fans by tweeting about selling the camper van he uses at races. However he confirmed he would race on until 2015 before the final 'cross race of the season in Oostmalle. Nys is considered one of the greatest cross riders of all time. He has won the UCI World Cup series six times, the Superprestige 12 times and has been Belgian cyclo-cross champion eight times. He won his first world title in 2005 and was also under 23 world champion in 1997 and 1998. Nys beat fellow Belgian Klaas Vantornout to win this year's world title in the mud in Louisville.
Although Crelan will end its sponsorship of its team in 2013, it will stay on as Nys' personal sponsor.
"When you win the world title, lead the UCI rankings, win 18 races and the final overall standings in the Superprestige, it's difficult to suddenly say it's time to call it a day next season," Nys said when he announced his decision.
"I still feel very good, I'm able to enjoy training, I'm still motivated to win the races and my family fully supports my decision. I didn't attempt to lighten my schedule this year, and I will continue to contest all the important 'cross races in Belgium."
Nys finished ninth in the Oostmalle race, well down on winner Niels Albert but was able to celebrate the start of his off-season on a high, knowing he will race on until he close to 40 years old.