The 2010-2011 season for Belgian 'cross legend Sven Nys was plagued by frustration, but that didn't stop him earning the number one spot in the Cyclingnews' 2010 reader poll for best male cyclo-cross rider by a large margin over reigning world champion Zdenek Stybar, 6701 to 3802 votes.
Nys started out 2010 mid-way through the 2009-2010 season, winning his self-named GVA Trophy race before going on to win his seventh career national 'cross title. All in all he scored 14 wins last season, but fell short in his bid to earn the second rainbow jersey of his storied career on an icy course in Tabor, Czech Republic.
The 2010-2011 season started slowly for Nys, who took two minor race wins in September before going winless the entire month of October, while at the same time Stybar was dominating with seven straight victories. Nys rebounded in November, racking up eight victories in the past two months, but is still searching for his first World Cup win this season.
Despite all this, our readers still consider Nys to be the best 'cross racer and perhaps with all the mechanical problems and tough luck he's had so far this season, he can continue to show why he's so respected by the fans and gain the rainbow bands.
Former world champion Niels Albert took the third spot after a consistently good but not spectacular season. He edged out US 'cross stand-out Jeremy Powers for the final podium spot, while Powers' teammate Tim Johnson was a close fifth.
Cyclingnews Reader Poll results - Best male cyclo-cross racer
Sven Nys, 6701 (39.9%)
Zdenek Stybar, 3802 (22.6%)
Niels Albert, 1233 (7.3%)
Jeremy Powers, 1198 (7.1%)
Tim Johnson, 1134 (6.8%)
Jonathan Page, 759 (4.5%)
Ryan Trebon, 473 (2.8%)
Kevin Pauwels, 390 (2.3%)
Bart Aernouts, 354 (2.1%)
Gerben de Knegt, 272 (1.6%)
Klaas Vantornout, 261 (1.6%)
Francis Mourey, 210 (1.3%)