Sven Nys will return to racing at the Superprestige race in Diegem on Sunday, December 28, it was announced on Monday. The Belgian national champion, who has been performing unexpectedly poorly this season, skipped Sunday's World Cup race in Namur. He decided to take a break after finishing nearly three minutes down at the Bpost Bank Trofee in Essen on Saturday.
His Crelan-AA Drink Team announced the new racing schedule after consultations between Nys, his manager Paul van den Bosch and team manager Jan Verstraeten. He may skip Friday’s World Cup race in Heusden-Zolder.
"There's a busy end of year anyway, program Diegem, Loenhout and Baal. A week of relative calm in the run-in toward it is therefore advisable," the team said in their press release.
Nys decided not to ride in Namur and to take a break after finishing 13th place in Essen this weekend. "I had to pull the plug," he said on HLN.be "Put the bike aside, rest and relax with other things."
He ended up attending a local cyclo-cross race where he cheered on and coached his 12-year-old son Thibaux from the sidelines. "I enjoy it here immensely. But I want to return to the field as quickly as possible. Stop? Me? Crazy, surely?"
He also met with his team management on Sunday to discuss the immediate future. While he hopes to ride again in the Bpost Bank Trofee in Baal, he may return as early as Friday in Heusden-Zolder for the World Cup. "I am certainly not thinking of stopping. I won't do that until March 2016. Now I want only one thing: to race again as soon as possible."
The World Championships in Tabor are "highly uncertain. I am a 'feel-good' racer and can only perform if I feel good about myself. For now, I am not making myself any illusions. I will not suddenly be back at my best level after a long bad period."
However, Nys refused to rule the Worlds out entirely. "When I"m good, I can always be in the top three. One thing is certain. I certainly do not stop."