Nys delivers golden performance

Thibau Nys takes gold at junior men’s European cyclocross championship

When Thibau Nys climbed the podium and received his gold medal at the junior European cyclocross championship on Saturday, he accomplished a lifelong goal.

“I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little boy,” Nys said after winning his new title. Though he reached the line just seconds ahead of his Belgian teammate, he savored the moment as he rolled across the finish.

Belga Photo by David Stockman

“At the start of the final lap, we’ve already had a grueling race,” Nys said. “My competitor was pushing me, so I made a couple of small mistakes, but luckily I was able to overcome them in time and escape in the last 500m.”

The championships took place in northern Italy just outside of Venice and the gold medal brings Nys up to seven wins since September. Though they rode under blue skies, Nys judged this course as particularly challenging.

Belga Photo by David Stockman

“The course actually was a typical Flemish mud cross, in Italy,” Nys said. “I went for a recon on Saturday and quickly realized it would be a very hard race on Sunday. There’s no hiding on this course, so I knew the best riders would be up front in the race from the first lap on.”

Nys ground through the race atop a Trek Boone with a custom paint design and an inspiring message staring up at him from the top tube: game changer. Now the biggest question for Nys on the week of his 17th birthday: which dream to reach for next?