Balint Hamvas (www.cyclephotos.co.uk)
Really? You thought we'd get through this week without a defence of Sven Nys, king of cyclocross? Fools you all! FOOLS!
Hometown: Baal, Belgium
Fashion sense: dodgy
Pedigree: He's the answer to every 'who has the most X wins in cyclocross' question? Who has the most Superprestige wins? Sven Nys, 59. Who has the most Superprestige overalls? Sven Nys, 11. Who has the most world cups? Sven Nys, 7. On and on and...
How's He Doing?
He started on absolute fire, winning everything under the sun, and in style too. Fourteen wins this season. Fourteen! And with Koksijde, Zonhoven and Koppenbergcross, he's good some stuff too.
And then he got ill. For his own race too. That was sad. And even though his race was on new year's day, he never really got over that.
How's The Course For Him?
It's not perfect - Sven Nys has more technique than Auguste Rodin and Louisville is a little bereft of technical stuff. There could be a bit more height difference. Or obstacles. Or cobbles. Or sand. Sven Nys is also HTFU like Hulk, so the worse the weather on Sunday the better it'll be for him.
The Case Against The Kannibaal van Baal
The Curse. Yes, double capital. Sven Nys and World Championships, they go together like pie and tire irons, beer and grizzly bears, pumpkin and nuclear war. That is: they don't. He's only won it once. In every other human being's case that would be: "alright, he won it!" But in Sven's case, he's only won it once, in 2005, his year of magic and might when he won the world championships, the national championships, the world cup, the superprestige overall and the b-post overall (back when it was still gva). Last year, in Koksijde, a place he knows so well, he was seventh, last of the Belgians. Last! (Don't worry Albertina, he was still much better than Stybar).
He can do crazy stuff on rollers - though I have seen evidence that he's got nothing on our Dansel.