Sven Nys (Rabobank) displayed his dominance once again in round six of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup on Saturday, riding away from an elite lead group to a solo victory in Koksijde, Belgium.
The World Cup leader and Belgian national champion had been at the head of a lead group containing teammates Gerben De Knegt and Sven Vanthourenhout, Bart Wellens (Fidea), and John Gadret (Ag2r Prevoyance).
With five laps to go, Nys had begun chipping away at the group, and a lap later it was three Rabobank riders off the front through the start-finish area.
Then Nys stepped on the gas, leaving his teammates behind and quickly building a gap that swelled from 10 seconds to 22 with three laps to go.
Behind, Gadret briefly took up the chase, with De Knegt and Vanthourenhout on his wheel and Wellens yo-yoing off the back. But up front, Nys was conducting a ‘cross clinic on the sinuous circuit, riding sandy stretches where other riders were forced to run and sprinting hills that others jogged.
With two laps remaining, Nys held an insurmountable lead, more than half a minute, as the steam went out of Gadret’s chase. Van Knegt had a dig, followed by Vanthourenhout, and as the Frenchman fell back Wellens began fighting his way forward.
Nys took a minute’s lead into the bell lap as his teammates and Wellens shed Gadret in the sand. As the World Cup leader crossed the line alone, arms raised high, collecting his fourth World Cup win in six rounds, De Knegt jumped, taking a slight lead into the start-finish area with Vanthourenhout right behind him.
It was looking like a podium sweep for Rabobank — but Wellens found a second wind somewhere as De Knegt finally cracked, and the Fidea man swept around him for second, with Vanthourenhout third.
American Ryan Trebon (Kona) finished 25th at 5:10 back.
UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup
Round 4, Koksijde, Belgium. Nov. 25
1. Sven Nijs (B), Rabobank, 1:04:32
2. Bart Wellens (B), Fidea, at 0:54
3. Sven Vanthourenhout (B), Rabobank, at 0:55
4. Gerben De Knegt (Nl), Rabobank, same time
5. John Gadret (F), Ag2r, at 1:07
6. Klaas Vantornout (B), Fidea, at 1:16
7. Thijs Al (Nl), B&E Cycling, at 1:29
8. Bart Aernouts (B), Rabobank, at 1:40
9. Kevin Pauwels (B), Fidea, t 1:43
10. Christian Heule (Swi), Stevens, s.t.
11. David Willemsens (B), at 1:49
12. Tim Van Nuffel (B), Stevens, at 1:59
13. Maarten Nijland (Nl), Procomm-Van Hemert, at 2:05
14. Petr Dlask (Cz), Fidea, at 2:10
15. Kamil Ausbuher (Cz), at 2:20
16. Marco Bianco (I), at 2:28
17. Radomir Simunek (Cz), Palmans-Collstrop, at 3:30
18. Richard Groenendaal (Nl), Rabobank, at 3:40
19. Davy Commeyne (B), Palmans-Collstrop, at 4:10
20. Milan Barenyi (Slo), at 4:18
21. Aurelio Marco Aurelio (I), at 4:26
22. Alexandre Moos (Swi), Phonak, at 4:30
23. Lukas Kloucek (Cz), at 4:45
24. Ondrej Bambula (Cz), at 4:58
25. Ryan Trebon (USA), Kona, at 5:10
26. Marek Cichosz (Pol), at 5:15
27. Simon Zahner (Swi), at 5:29
28. Ronald Mutsaars (Nl), at 5:40
29. Gusty Bausch (Lux), at 6:00
30. Mariusz Gil (Pol), at 6:25
31. Joachim Parbo (Dk), at 6:26
32. Rafael Visinelli (I), at 7:20
33. Jan Ramsauer (Swi), -1 lap
34. Birkenfeld René (G), Stevens, -1 lap
35. Dariusz Gil (Pol), -1 lap
36. Robert Gavenda (Slo), -1 lap
37. Robert Glajza (Slo), -1 lap
38. Phillip Dixon (GB), -2 laps
39. Peter Presslauer (A), Stevens, -2 laps
40. Benjamin Hill (G), Stevens, -3 laps
41. Lukasz Mudyn (Pol), -3 laps
42. Daniel Hufnagel (A), -3 laps