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Nys victorious at Koksijde World Cup

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Belgian champion Sven Nys celebrates victory in the third World Cup round, contested at Koksijde, Belgium.

Belgian champion Sven Nys celebrates victory in the third World Cup round, contested at Koksijde, Belgium.
(Image credit: AFP)
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Belgian champion Sven Nys reaches down to shoulder his bike.

Belgian champion Sven Nys reaches down to shoulder his bike.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat) was at home on the sandy Koksijde parcours.

Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat) was at home on the sandy Koksijde parcours.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus)

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-KDL)

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-KDL)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony)

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) dabs a sand section

Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) dabs a sand section
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert leads Bart Aernouts through the sand.

Niels Albert leads Bart Aernouts through the sand.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP - Powerplus) was one of six Belgians in the top seven finishers.

Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP - Powerplus) was one of six Belgians in the top seven finishers.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Bart Aernouts (AA Drink Cyclocross Team)

Bart Aernouts (AA Drink Cyclocross Team)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)

Tom Meeusen (Telenet - Fidea)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat) rides to a 3rd place finish.

Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat) rides to a 3rd place finish.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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French champion Aurelien Duval

French champion Aurelien Duval
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) got off to his usual quick start and managed to finish in the top-10.

Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team) got off to his usual quick start and managed to finish in the top-10.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Third place finisher Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat)

Third place finisher Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Belgian champion Sven Nys leads world champion Niels Albert in the sand.

Belgian champion Sven Nys leads world champion Niels Albert in the sand.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) would finish in 5th place at Koksijde.

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) would finish in 5th place at Koksijde.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) led onto the sand on the opening lap.

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) led onto the sand on the opening lap.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Huge crowds were on hand in Koksijde to see world champion Niels Albert and Belgian champion Sven Nys duel for victory.

Huge crowds were on hand in Koksijde to see world champion Niels Albert and Belgian champion Sven Nys duel for victory.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) remains in the World Cup lead after the third round.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) remains in the World Cup lead after the third round.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys has won the third round of the World Cup, contested in the rain and sand at Koksijde.

Sven Nys has won the third round of the World Cup, contested in the rain and sand at Koksijde.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) had to settle for second in Koksijde, but he still holds the World Cup lead.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) had to settle for second in Koksijde, but he still holds the World Cup lead.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) dropped rival Niels Albert on the final lap and soloed to victory.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) dropped rival Niels Albert on the final lap and soloed to victory.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Koksijde World Cup men's podium (L-R): Niels Albert, 2nd; Sven Nys, 1st; Francis Mourey, 3rd

Koksijde World Cup men's podium (L-R): Niels Albert, 2nd; Sven Nys, 1st; Francis Mourey, 3rd
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Koksijde, Belgium World Cup podium (L-R): Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat)

Koksijde, Belgium World Cup podium (L-R): Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony), Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat) had a stellar day in Koksidje

Francis Mourey (FDJ-BigMat) had a stellar day in Koksidje
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) rode to a solid 6th place result on the sand of Koksijde.

Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) rode to a solid 6th place result on the sand of Koksijde.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) crashed hard and ended the day in 12th place.

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) crashed hard and ended the day in 12th place.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) en route to a 4th place finish in the third World Cup round.

Bart Aernouts (AA Drink) en route to a 4th place finish in the third World Cup round.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Niels Albert and Sven Nys in the lead on the final lap.

Niels Albert and Sven Nys in the lead on the final lap.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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World champion and World Cup leader Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) runs a lengthy sand sector.

World champion and World Cup leader Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) runs a lengthy sand sector.
(Image credit: Photopress.be)
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Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team)

Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-road Team)
(Image credit: Photopress.be)

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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