Cyclo-cross rider Sven Nys won the Kristallen Fiets for best Belgian cyclist of the year, narrowly beating out Quick.Step-Innergetic's Tom Boonen, who was awarded the trophy last year. Nys said that he was "very proud to have outsprinted Boonen."
Nys, the 'cannibal' cyclo-crosser, was not present to receive the award, as he is currently training in Spain. His wife was given the trophy on his behalf, and a film of him acknowledging the award was shown.
"Finally I have it," said the happy winner. "I fought in vain against Tom Boonen two years ago. When I won my world title in 2005, he also became world champion and I had no chance." Nys had 103 points ahead of Boonen's 99 points in the voting which was sponsored by Het Laatste Nieuws, a Belgian newspaper. He nevertheless honoured his rival, saying, "He would also have deserved this trophy."
Nys, 31, won 30 'cross races last season, including seven World Cup races. He was ranked first in the UCI rankings, and won the overall title in the GVA-Trofee as well as the Superprestige series, in which he took all eight matches.
Johan Vansummeren of Predictor-Lotto won the best helper award, and Niels Albert was named best young rider. Johan Bruyneel won for best team manager, ahead of Quick.Step's Patrick Lefevere.
Quick.Step boycotts awards ceremony
Meanwhile, no one from Quick.Step attended the ceremony. The team is boycotting HLN since the newspaper published doping charges against the squad in January this year.
Boonen had further difficulties with the newspaper this week after it published a story on his new girlfriend, 16 year-old Sophie van Vliet, the daughter of former pro Leo van Vliet, now organiser of the Amstel Gold Race and Amstel Curaçao Race. The sprinter at first denied the story, then admitted it, but said that the reporter had lied to him about where the interview would appear.