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Sven Nys: I have never felt stronger

Last Sunday, Sven Nys took his third victory of the season in Zonhoven, and the 37-year old has never felt stronger. “In the pre-season my power tests came out higher than ever before,” Nys said in the Belgian talk show Reyers Laat. “If I keep feeling like this, there are still nice races to be won.”

Speculation has been going around when the now 37-year-old Nys will call it quits, but he has a contract with Crelan untill March 2015 with the option for another season. “I have the option to quit after those two years. If I feel I can’t win anymore, I’ll stop. I want to say goodbye in a worthy manner. But if I don’t have any injuries I will fulfill my contract until March 2016.”

“I have already been thinking of the time after my career. Together with cyclo-cross organizer Golazo I have bought the land in my village of Baal where the GP Sven Nys takes place on the first of January. We plan on founding a training center for young riders but also for cyclotourists to experience cyclo-cross.”

Nys has won three races this year with the victory in Zonhoven against Niels Albert the most memorable one. The Belgian is still feeling strong. “This year my tests came out better than ever. I am stronger than I ever was before,” Nys said. “The endurance has not gone. I have been lucky that I didn’t have a lot of injuries, that I haven’t been ill a lot. “

Nys joined the elite cyclo-cross ranks in 1998 with Rabobank. This year will be his 16th season. “It’s all about taking care of your body. Furthermore I never lost my drive. I have always been motivated to be the best. I try to do a serious job from early morning to late in the evening, every day of the year. And I can’t deny I have also been given talent.”

Nys has published a second autobiography called Mijn Leven [My Life ed]. The first one came out in 2005. "Back in 2005 [after his first world title in Sankt Wendel] I had won everything I wanted to win. And whatever came next was a bonus. There is a time it stops. There are new, younger guys and how long can I go at this level, I thought eight years ago,” Nys said about his first book.

“But if you see what happened ever since. I have been to the Olympic Games twice, won so many trophies, was sportsman of the year etc etc. I could never have dreamed that would happen.”

With two world titles, seven overall world cups, 12 Superprestiges overall victories, over 60 Superprestige races and countless victories, Nys is still eager. “I am motivated for every race I do. Zonhoven was one of those classics, as is Asper-Gavere. Every time when there are 10,000-15,000 people watching, it gives me an adrenalin boost, it makes the hairs on my arm rise. As long as I still have that feeling and can take care of myself, there are still nice races to be won.

Nys’ next race will be the Bollekescross in Hamme-Zogge this weekend. The race is part of the Superprestige. It will be the first time Nys will ride a bike fitted with the Shimano disc brakes two-time World Cup winner Lars van der Haar has been using since the start of the season.

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