Nys lost his lead at the top of the overall standings of the Bpost Bank Trofee when he could only manage 13th place on Saturday, over three minutes down on Wout Van Aert (Vastgoedservice - Golden Palace Cycling Team). Van Aert has now moved into the overall lead in the standings, and holds an advantage of 1:50 over Nys.
Nys announced his decision to withdraw from the Namur World Cup event on Twitter, although he had already decried his recent struggles for form when speaking to the Flemish media immediately after the race in Essen on Saturday.
He voiced his frustration that a recent two-week training camp in Spain had failed to ensure an upturn in his fortunes and complained that he is currently riding at only 50 per cent of his capabilities.
“Despite my two weeks away, it’s just not right. When I want to accelerate, I feel that I haven’t got the strength. I can ride around for an hour at the same tempo but when I need to accelerate, I can’t,” Nys said, according to Het Nieuwsblad, adding that he had no more ambitions for the overall standings of the Superprestige, Bpost Bank Trofee and World Cup.
“That’s over. I can only win a classification when I’m at my best, and as it is, I’m riding around at 50 per cent of my capabilities.”
Nys has won four events this season but the 38-year-old said that he is currently at the lowest ebb of his lengthy career at the top level. A battery of blood tests after the Vlaamse Druivencross in Overijse did not throw up any health issues and Nys admitted that he is at a loss to explain his current malaise.
“I don’t know what’s wrong. For me this is also a big question mark,” he said. “It’s the first time in 15 years that I’ve gone a long time not riding as I should. I will have to live with it. That’s not pleasant, but I can’t do any more than my best.”