By Susan Westemeyer
Sven Nys has nearly 11 months to go on his current contract with Team Rabobank, but he is already exploring the market for the coming season. It is too early to tell whether he will leave the team or not, but he wants to know what is out there.
Meanwhile, he enjoyed his first weekend off in months, and enjoyed even more the news that blood tests have shown no reason for his "empty" feeling. "No mononucleosis, no cytomegalovirus, Epstien-Barr virus nor Hepatitis A or C," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "I am relieved. I am just sitting here with an empty battery."
After a short break in Jamaica, Nys will turn his focus to mountain biking. His goals include the Benelux Cup in Ronse, the European championships in Sankt Wendel and ultimately the the Olympic Games in Beijing in August.
After those games, the question of where he will ride in 2009 will become more pressing. He turned pro with Rabobank in 1998, and seems to find it hard to imagine being with another team. "We aren't that far yet. My manager will soon sit down with the Dutch team managers to discuss how they see the future of their 'cross team, both financially and athletically. I started as a pro [with Rabobank] in September 1998 and have become somewhat of a fixture there. I have had a lot of respect from Rabobank the last few years. My current employer gets the preference, but I want to know what else is out there."
It may be hard imagine himself with another team, but not impossible. "My manager Bob Verbeeck is already busy negotiating. Fedea is interested. I also already talked with Sunweb-Projob manager Jurgen Mettepenningen. I had a good discussion with him. Another point would be to go to a team with my neighbour Niels Albert. Palmans-Cras wants to evolve into another team. That is a realistic possibility which I have nothing against. But it is not so sure."