The #1 of Men Elite Cyclo-cross, Sven Nys, has received another prize for his outstanding performances in the sport: On Sunday, December 17, he was elected "Sports personality of the year" in his home country of Belgium. Still, the "cannibal" is not exempt of some small character flaws - at least not according to Bart Wellens, his direct rival in all the European racing series.
"I've been jealous of Nys," admitted Wellens recently when talking to Het Nieuwsblad. "Not of his professionalism or his perfectionism - I live up to that - but of his results. If he wasn't there, I'd be the superman. But I don't let that get to me anymore. If Nys is the best, then so be it."
Meanwhile, Wellens expressed some concerns as to Nys' attitude within the small world of top cyclo-crossers. "He has to be careful not to intimidate our colleagues," Wellens continued. "Sven now has too much of what he lacked previously: nerve. A lot of guys are disturbed by his comments. Nys sometimes says that he wasn't even in the red. He's hyped and says things for the camera. But he hurts others doing that. As if we raced for nothing - while we give it all as well."
Although Nys seems untouchable yet again this season, the Fidea rider hasn't given up attacking him. "I'm still fighting the duel," Wellens added. "I don't like to be passive. I'm one of the few who still try to do something..."