Sven Nys continues to dominate the World Cup, the Superprestige series, and most major one-day races. Yet he’s only won one world title as an elite. Christine Vardaros talks with Nys before the big race as he enters Hoogerheide with what he says is his best form of the season. Also, see our pre-Olympics interview with Nys earlier this summer.
by Christine Vardaros, photos by Joe Sales
How are you feeling going into worlds?
At the moment I feel really good. The last two or three races were like I thought it should be. I won in the sprint in the last world cup against Lars boom. I feel confident. It is a good feeling going into the world championships with the last race a victory – the whole season is good. I am champion of Belgium, sportsman of the year in Belgium, I won the World Cup overall so it’s ok, yeah?
Race strategy for Worlds?
That’s difficult…when it’s raining it’s really hard you must not have a tactic because the strongest will win anyway. But it is not going to rain the last days before Worlds so now I think it is going to be a tactical race. You must be in the front three or four riders, stay alert and hope that you can have a good feeling in the last two or three laps. And then I must do something because I don’t think I am the fastest in the sprint . I must try to do something in a place where I feel myself really good and that [place] I must see in the race.
Your strongest competition?
I think Lars Boom is really good at the moment . He is a home rider from Holland. And Zdenek Stybar [Czech Republic] is riding with a good feeling and he is also good on fast races. So those are my two biggest competitors.
There is talk of Belgians needing to work together to beat Lars. Do you really think that will work?
I am going to speak with a lot of the riders the last two days. But it is difficult because they all think that they can win the world championships. It is different than in other countries where they have one or two favorites but here all seven riders think that they can win the world championships but it isn’t true. For this reason, it is difficult in Belgium to have a team . But I will try to speak with them and I hope that I can have one or two guys with me at the final and maybe they feel then that they can’t win the race and that they can help me or that I can help them if I feel that I am not going to win. We must speak the last two days with the guys; if there is a team or not.
Special equipment change?
No, not really. It is dangerous to do something with stuff you don’t train with or race with. And the weather conditions are not so special that I must do something new . I’m gonna ride with the things that I am used to. I know that I can ride with things I won with, so I feel good with my bike.
Special words for your American fans?
I hope that you support me the next two or three years and I hope to come to the US to do some nice races there in the future. We’ll see…