Albert ends Nys' Superprestige streak

Niels Albert gets the win

Niels Albert gets the win (Image credit: AFP)

By Brecht Decaluwé

After 13 consecutive wins from Sven Nys in the Superprestige Series, someone has finally ended the Belgian's dominance in this competition. The last time Nys failed to win a Superprestige event was way back on December 24, 2005, but today the UCI leader was beaten in northern Holland by Belgium's biggest talent, 21 year-old Niels Albert.

Albert's win wasn't all that surprising as he had already won the Gazet van Antwerpen leg in Loenhout last year. Combine that with the extra freshness from not racing yesterday's World Cup in Koksijde. The Palmans rider chose not to participate due to his U23 status, despite being clearly capable of giving all the big guns a beating. Albert's remains in the under 23 ranks because he badly wants to win the only title that has eluded him so far - the under 23 world championship.

This season Albert has been struggling to show his talent, but with this victory he grabs his first so-called 'big fish' of the season. "I knew it would happen one of these weeks but I didn't expect it just yet. That it comes now is ideal, because a lot of stress has disappeared now," a clearly cold Albert said. The U23 rider has never lost in Gieten, although it must be said that his previous outings were in the youth races.

"Apparently I've got something with Gieten," Albert smiled. "It's good to be winning in a big match-up like today."

Runner-up Sven Nys wasn't too disappointed about having his winning streak ended in Gieten today. "It had to come to an end one day," he said. "Eventually I finished second so that's good for the overall standing in the series. The freshest rider has won today. I tried to follow but he rode just a little too fast for me."

See the full results, report and photos here.

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