Saturday 1st January, 15:00 CET, 14:00 GMT, 09:00 USA Eastern
Are you feeling the worse for wear after celebrating the end of 2010? Or feeling bright & breezy, ready for an exciting 2011? Either way, start the new year the best way - with 'Cross!
Yeah, yeah, I hear you. "What? Has gs gone bonkers? Surely they can't race on New Year's day!" What you forget though, dear friends, is this: it's cyclo-cross. Of course they race on New Year's day! The Grand Prix Sven Nys - yes, he has his own race - is an anual tradition. There is only one way to properly start the year and that's to watch other people exert themselves. If you don't agree, you're not a cross fan.
It shouldn't come as a big surprise that the GP Sven Nys is a race at which Sven Nys is pretty good. There have been eleven editions, and he's won nine of them. Maybe because he goes to bed at 10pm on 31 December. Or maybe because the race has bunnyhop beams, technical descents and corners where you need a good eye (two good eyes is even better).
GS gave us a lot there, but want more information? There's stats, maps, links and all the usual goodies below - and as much chat as New Year Café habitués can manage....
Here's the parcours:
|1 (1)||Kevin Pauwels||Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||106|
|2 (2)||Sven Nys||Landbouwkrediet||102|
|3 (3)||Zdenek Stybar||Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||89|
|4 (4)||Bart Wellens||Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||81|
|5 (7)||Niels Albert||BKCP-Powerplus||80|
|6 (5)||Klaas Vantornout||Sunweb Revor||76|
|7 (6)||Bart Aernouts||Rabo - Giant Offroad Team.||71|
|8 (8)||Gerben De Knegt||Rabo - Giant Offroad Team.||49|
|9 (11)||Tom Meeusen||Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||48|
|10 (10)||Enrico Franzoi||BKCP-Powerplus||47|
Look how close it is between Nys and Pauwels! There's points for the first 20 across the line: 25-22-19-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2 and 1 - so unless Nys has another shocking mechanical, and Pauwels rides into another tree, the GVA is between those two.... But the glory of the race? Who wouldn't want to beat Sven Nys at his own race? Only 2 other riders have won here - Mario de Clercq in 2002, and in 2006 a certain Mr Lars Boom....