Nys victorious at Koksijde World Cup

Belgian champion drops Albert on final lap

Another cyclo-cross race, another spectacle provided by the duo of Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) and Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus). This time the battlefield was the sandy world championship course at Koksijde, Belgium, where Albert won the rainbow jersey back in January.

On Sunday, however, Sven Ny took a masterful, measured victory in the third round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup while world champion Niels Albert had to settle for second at 14 seconds. Frenchman Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat) rounded out the top three, 19 seconds behind Nys.

Nys bounced back from a lacklustre first half to get back on solo leader Albert's wheel on the penultimate lap. Albert led Nys across the finish line into the final lap and momentarily kept Nys at bay, but a fateful bobble by the world champion on a slick, right-hand bend provided Nys the opportunity to pounce.

Nys slipped by Albert's left alongside the barriers and accelerated onto a short, sand dune power climb. Nys showed off his considerable technical skills when he rode over the seemingly unrideable dune, while Albert had to dismount and run. Nys's performance on the dune appeared to remove all the wind from the sails of  Albert's chase effort as Nys sped away to win for the sixth time in Koksijde, becoming the sole record holder for victories at the legendary 'cross venue.

"Last year [worlds in January] it wasn't pleasant to ride here. I wanted to come back and show I can ride through the sand. I think I did that today," Nys said.

Albert remains the leader in the World Cup with 215 points, 30 more than both Nys and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor), who finished fifth in Koksijde. Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) crashed hard halfway the race and finished a distant twelfth place, tumbling from a shared lead with Albert to fourth overall after Koksijde at 184 points.

"During the world championships my form was at 100 percent, now I was at maybe 95," Albert said. "Back then making the lines in the sand went unnoticed but now I felt it. I'm glad to be the leader in the World Cup but nothing's won so far. Of course I'll defend my lead."

During the first half of the race both Albert and Nys were absent from the top-10, at the back of a long line of riders. In front Klaas Vantornout rode his usual strong first laps until Mourey opened the throttle up front. Albert answered this attack and increased the pace, leaving only Albert, Mourey, Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) and a little later also Nys in front.

Albert kept going flat-out and he created a gap on the rest with Nys still dangling at the back of the chase group. "If you're caught behind there's two things you can do: force your way to the front and use more energy or wait until there's space. That way I conserved my energy," Nys said, opting for the patient approach.

During the last couple of laps Nys put on a master class of 'cross skill and talent as he rode the lengthy sand sections and bridged up to Albert to set the stage for a dramatic finale between the season's prominent protagonists. Nys explained he wanted to sit on Albert's wheel and wait for the sprint, but his rival made a mistake and Nys was granted the lead anyway, sealed by riding a dune that Albert had to run.

"It was like a dream coming through, perfectly over it," said Nys. "You arrive at the foot with the idea of trying it. Right away I felt ‘I can ride up this thing'. Then you get the adrenaline boost and you don't feel anything. It's one to review several times on TV," Nys said.

The dune 'cross, with its tradition to name the toughest dunes after champions such as Paul Herygers and Niels Albert, perhaps should pay tribute to this demonstration and its record holder by referring to this heretofore unnamed dune as the "Nys dune".

Full Results
1Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony0:59:34 
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:00:14 
3Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:00:19 
4Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:00:33 
5Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:01:20 
6Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:01:27 
7Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:32 
8Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team0:01:37 
9Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:01:44 
10Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:55 
11Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus0:02:01 
12Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:02:08 
13Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:02:28 
14Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:02:33 
15Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus  
16Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team  
17Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team0:02:45 
18Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea0:02:58 
19Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite0:03:13 
20Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:03:15 
21Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team  
22Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco0:03:44 
23Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 930:04:16 
24Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:30 
25Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea0:04:31 
26Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team0:04:34 
27Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole0:04:44 
28Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-BigMat0:04:46 
29Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized0:04:51 
30Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:04:52 
31Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus0:04:57 
32Jonathan Page (USA)0:05:38 
33Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL0:06:21 
34Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea0:06:31 
35Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)0:06:47 
36Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea0:07:11 
37Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencín Trek0:07:20 
38Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda0:07:33 
39Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor0:07:55 
40Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks0:08:23 
41Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet  -2laps 
42Christian Helmig (Lux) Elbowz Racing p/b Trisport  -3laps 
43Gusty Bausch (Lux)  
44Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa)  -4laps 
45Lewis Rattray (Aus)  
46Alexander Revell (NZl) Revolution Bicycles  
47Angus Edmond (NZl)  -5laps 
DNFArnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea  
DNFRomain Lejeune (Fra)  
DNFAurelien Duval (Fra) UV Aube  
DNFJulien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team  
DNSElia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite  
DNSMarco Bianco (Ita)  
World Cup standings after round three
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus215pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony185 
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor185 
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor184 
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team158 
6Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-BigMat148 
7Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea144 
8Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team142 
9Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea126 
10Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team126 
11Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus119 
12Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus113 
13Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team109 
14Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team106 
15Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team103 
16Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team102 
17Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite100 
18Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus96 
19Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team91 
20Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor90 
21Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea82 
22Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team75 
23Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco71 
24Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus69 
25Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team69 
26Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea68 
27Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole60 
28Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea60 
29Jonathan Page (USA)60 
30Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized57 
31Jirí Polnický (Cze) Whirlpool - Author52 
32Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus52 
33Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 9351 
34Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea50 
35Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus48 
36Guillaume Perrot (Fra)41 
37Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks41 
38Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda36 
39Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL35 
40Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor34 
41Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta - Fitness / Specialized27 
42Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor27 
43David Kášek (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor26 
44Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-BigMat23 
45Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo23 
46Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL21 
47Mitchell Huenders (Ned)21 
48Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld21 
49Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite21 
50Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencín Trek18 
51Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea17 
52Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)16 
53Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de14 
54Milan Barenyi (Svk)12 
55Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)12 
56Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda11 
57Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet10 
58Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea10 
59Christian Helmig (Lux) Elbowz Racing p/b Trisport9 
60Gusty Bausch (Lux)8 
61Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa)7 
62Lewis Rattray (Aus)6 
63Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica6 
64Alexander Revell (NZl) Revolution Bicycles5 
65Angus Edmond (NZl)4 
66Lukas Winterberg (Swi) Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes3 
67Marco Bianco (Ita)3 

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