BREDENE, Belgium (VN) — A day after crashing twice and confronting a drunken beer-flinging spectator at the Azencross in Loenhout, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) bounced back to out-kick world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) for the win at the Versluys Cyclocross in Bredene.
The day began with more bad luck for the Belgian champion, who flatted in the first lap. But he recovered to join a lead group containing teammate Sven Vanthourenhout, Albert, Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) and Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).
In the finale Albert and Nys sprinted for the line, with the world champion falling short by a whisker as Nys collected his 14th victory of the season. Stybar followed a few lengths behind for third.
A mud-spattered Nys was happy to win after enduring a race to forget on Friday, which saw him abandon after two crashes and a face-off with a drunken 17-year-old spectator who pelted him with beer at the Azencross.
“I’m at least glad I’ve driven here, because this ‘cross was a perfect stepping stone to the Superprestige ‘cross Sunday in Diegem,” he said. “I haven’t heard any boos.”
Page turned in a solid ride, finishing fifth behind Vanthourenout.
Editor’s note: Check back on Sunday for coverage of the sixth round of the Superprestige series in Diegem.