Cyclocross Magazine had a rare few minutes to sit down privately with 2013 World Champion Sven Nys after his 2013 Cross Vegas win. We played 10 questions, rapid-fire style. The World Champ talks American cyclocross, race strategy, disc brakes and 11-speed.
Sven Nys celebrates with his American fans with a commanding win at the Clif Bar Cross Vegas 2013. © Cyclocross Magazine
1. You’re two-for-two here in America. What do you think about cyclocross in the States?
Sven Nys: It’s pretty awesome because the course is well made, a lot of people coming over to see the race, good atmosphere, technical racing. I’m really happy.
2. You made it look easy. Was it easy?
SN: No, it’s not as easy as it looks.
3. Did you have a strategy to wait?
SN: No, I felt at the beginning of the race that I was the strongest, so you need to have the power to do it the whole course, but I felt myself really strong today.
4. The announcers were commenting a lot about how Trebon was just sitting on your wheel a lot. Did you want him to take a pull?
SN: Yes, but they said Jeremy was coming, and I can understand that, but then I felt I was the strongest so I went.
5. What do you think about the crowd? Different from a Belgian crowd?
SN: Amazing! Yeah, it’s different, but it’s something special.
6. No disc brakes yet, but is there a plan to use them?
SN: There is a plan to, but not this season.
7. Lars van der Haar plans to this season, yes?
SN: He’s going to do it. I’m going to do it also, but not for this season. I’m going to race this season with the bike like it’s standing here.
8. You signed with Trek through 2014. Chris Horner just won the Vuelta on a Trek. He’s almost turning 42. Does that inspire you to race longer?
SN: We’ll see. Year by Year.
9. Your Colnago Prestige cyclocross bike this year has Dura-Ace Di2 9070 11-speed. Do you notice a difference?
SN: Yes, there is a difference because now you need to pull one time, and it shifts completely down to the 11, and that’s much better than before. So you have one gear more, now I am riding an 11-25. Sometimes, when it’s a really fast start, I had a problem because I ride 12-25, and now with the 11, it’s much better. [See Sven Nys' 2013 Cross Vegas-winning Colnago Cross Prestige cyclocross bike profile]
10. Have you tested 11-speeds in the mud? Are there any problems with the narrower spacing between the cogs?
SN: I don’t think it’s a problem. We’ll see in the next few weeks but the shifting is going really, really well.
We also caught up Nys as he did an autograph signing pre-CrossVegas, and chatted about Las Vegas, gambling at 7am, his chances for winning, and his thoughts on his new bike sponsor for 2014: Trek. Hint: He plans on racing in the US more!
Check back regularly for more Cross Vegas and Interbike 2013 coverage.