Livin' the Dream

Livin' the Dream

About Me

I am a sophomore at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, majoring in journalism. My passion is cycling. I am a category 4 bike racer and my absolute dream would be to turn pro one day. My more realistic goal is to become a journalist for the sport of cycling and eventually move on to become a broadcaster for the sport.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Analysis: Can Sven Nys Go Back-to-Back at Worlds

As the year of 2013 comes to a close that means only one thing: the most important month of the year for cyclocross is arriving. The month of January is filled with the final two World Cups, the various National Championships and above all, the World Championships. The World Championships take place in Hoogerheide, Netherlands this year, a previous World Championship and World Cup site. The last time the World Championships were held in Hoogerhiede, Sven Nys finished in third place, 38 seconds down on the winner Niels Albert.

A Great End to the Year

This past weekend most of the European cyclocross superstars went to Diegem, Belgium to compete under the lights in their last race of this calendar year. The race was part of the Superprestige series and Niels Albert was the four-time defending champion and looking for a fifth straight win.

Mr. Superprestige himself and reigning World Champion, Sven Nys, had other plans in mind. However, given his lackluster performance at the World Cup the day after Christmas, he had his work cut out for him to make sure he didn’t get toppled from his throne atop the cyclocross world.

Under the lights in Diegem, Sven Nys was unstoppable. After capturing the lead part way through the opening lap he proceeded to dismantle the field single handedly. A frustrated Niels Albert could only look on as he tried to close the gap to Nys. It appeared that whenever Nys wanted to up the speed just that little bit more he could and did so with what appeared to be absolute ease. He allowed Albert to finally bridge up to him just once as he slid out of a corner, but got rid of Albert moments later, turning up the throttle on a steep muddy incline. By the end of the race Nys was far enough ahead to celebrate with a third of a lap to go. For those who say Albert just had an off day, notice that on the last lap Albert had to run the steep muddy incline, too exhausted to ride it. Sven Nys was ringing out the year of 2013 and showing he was not World Champion for no reason.

A New Bike

            As of January 1st, Sven Nys will no longer ride his beloved Colnago, but an American brand bike, Trek. It begins a new era for Nys. The Trek brand is fairly new to cyclocross but has made a name for itself rather quickly. World Cup winner and World Championship podium placer Katie Compton rides a Trek, so Nys is in good company. It will be interesting to see if Nys begins to ride with disc brakes full time. Early in the year he dapped with disc brakes, but never seemed fully committed. Katie Compton has been seen riding disc brakes and although current World Cup leader Lars van de Haar is not sponsored by Trek, he has been riding disc brakes all season.

            This weekend's race in Diegem reminded me of the Nys of old, one that I have not seen much of this year. If Sven Nys is able to hold his form all through the month of January, then the stars will be aligning for Nys to add a third world title to his palmares.

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