Nys victorious at Koksijde World Cup

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".

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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 - PowerplusRow 14 - Cell 2
16Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
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 TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
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)Row 42 - Cell 2
44Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa)-4laps
45Lewis Rattray (Aus)Row 44 - Cell 2
46Alexander Revell (NZl) Revolution BicyclesRow 45 - Cell 2
47Angus Edmond (NZl)-5laps
DNFArnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - FideaRow 47 - Cell 2
DNFRomain Lejeune (Fra)Row 48 - Cell 2
DNFAurelien Duval (Fra) UV AubeRow 49 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
DNSElia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-EliteRow 51 - Cell 2
DNSMarco Bianco (Ita)Row 52 - Cell 2
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World Cup standings after round three
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus215pts
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Euphony185Row 1 - Cell 3
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor185Row 2 - Cell 3
4Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor184Row 3 - Cell 3
5Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cyclocross Team158Row 4 - Cell 3
6Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ-BigMat148Row 5 - Cell 3
7Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet - Fidea144Row 6 - Cell 3
8Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team142Row 7 - Cell 3
9Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet - Fidea126Row 8 - Cell 3
10Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cyclocross Team126Row 9 - Cell 3
11Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus119Row 10 - Cell 3
12Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus113Row 11 - Cell 3
13Twan van den Brand (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team109Row 12 - Cell 3
14Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB Racing Team106Row 13 - Cell 3
15Niels Wubben (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team103Row 14 - Cell 3
16Simon Zahner (Swi) EKZ Racing Team102Row 15 - Cell 3
17Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite100Row 16 - Cell 3
18Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus96Row 17 - Cell 3
19Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team91Row 18 - Cell 3
20Martin Bina (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor90Row 19 - Cell 3
21Thijs Al (Ned) Telenet - Fidea82Row 20 - Cell 3
22Julien Taramarcaz (Swi) BMC Mountainbike Racing Team75Row 21 - Cell 3
23Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco71Row 22 - Cell 3
24Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP - Powerplus69Row 23 - Cell 3
25Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned) Orange Babies Cycling Team69Row 24 - Cell 3
26Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa) Grupo Hiremet Taldea68Row 25 - Cell 3
27Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Métropole60Row 26 - Cell 3
28Arnaud Grand (Swi) Telenet - Fidea60Row 27 - Cell 3
29Jonathan Page (USA)60Row 28 - Cell 3
30Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles-Specialized57Row 29 - Cell 3
31Jirí Polnický (Cze) Whirlpool - Author52Row 30 - Cell 3
32Lubomir Petrus (Cze) BKCP - Powerplus52Row 31 - Cell 3
33Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Auber 9351Row 32 - Cell 3
34Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet - Fidea50Row 33 - Cell 3
35Jeremy Powers (USA) Rapha-Focus48Row 34 - Cell 3
36Guillaume Perrot (Fra)41Row 35 - Cell 3
37Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Cyclingteam De Rijke-Shanks41Row 36 - Cell 3
38Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda36Row 37 - Cell 3
39Micky van Empel (Ned) Landbouwkrediet-KDL35Row 38 - Cell 3
40Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Revor34Row 39 - Cell 3
41Petr Dlask (Cze) Madeta - Fitness / Specialized27Row 40 - Cell 3
42Ondrej Bambula (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor27Row 41 - Cell 3
43David Kášek (Cze) CEZ Cyklo Team Tábor26Row 42 - Cell 3
44Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-BigMat23Row 43 - Cell 3
45Marco Ponta (Ita) Centro Sportivo23Row 44 - Cell 3
46Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Landbouwkrediet-KDL21Row 45 - Cell 3
47Mitchell Huenders (Ned)21Row 46 - Cell 3
48Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld21Row 47 - Cell 3
49Elia Silvestri (Ita) Selle Italia-Guerciotti-Elite21Row 48 - Cell 3
50Robert Gavenda (Svk) Dukla Trencín Trek18Row 49 - Cell 3
51Arnaud Jouffroy (Fra) Telenet - Fidea17Row 50 - Cell 3
52Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)16Row 51 - Cell 3
53Sascha Weber (Ger) Team Differdange - Magic-Sportfood.de14Row 52 - Cell 3
54Milan Barenyi (Svk)12Row 53 - Cell 3
55Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)12Row 54 - Cell 3
56Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls TJ Auto Škoda11Row 55 - Cell 3
57Magnus Darvell (Swe) Team Herbalife 24 Raumerrittet10Row 56 - Cell 3
58Cristian Cominelli (Ita) Team Idea10Row 57 - Cell 3
59Christian Helmig (Lux) Elbowz Racing p/b Trisport9Row 58 - Cell 3
60Gusty Bausch (Lux)8Row 59 - Cell 3
61Jose Antonio Diez Arriola (Spa)7Row 60 - Cell 3
62Lewis Rattray (Aus)6Row 61 - Cell 3
63Martin Haring (Svk) CK Banská Bystrica6Row 62 - Cell 3
64Alexander Revell (NZl) Revolution Bicycles5Row 63 - Cell 3
65Angus Edmond (NZl)4Row 64 - Cell 3
66Lukas Winterberg (Swi) Team Müller Gartengestaltung/BH Bikes3Row 65 - Cell 3
67Marco Bianco (Ita)3Row 66 - Cell 3

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