SVEN AND THIBAU NYS: THE PAST AND FUTURE OF CYCLOCROSSBy: José Been
Merckx, Nys, Zabel, Backstedt, Van Poppel, Knetemann, Roche, Dekker, Knaven – all big names in the history of cycling. Their sons or daughters follow in their footsteps, often under immense scrutiny. It’s hard not to compare the son or daughter to the father or the mother. “It has many advantages for Thibau,” explains former cyclocross world champion Sven Nys of his son, “but also disadvantages that people often do not see.”
In Belgium there is a new Nys, Thibau Nys. In his first races he immediately made an impact. He became world champion as a junior and won almost every race he started last season. This year he made his debut in the elite ranks, in a season with many ups and downs.
I caught up with father Sven and son Thibau to chat about their love of cyclocross, the media pressure on Thibau, and Sven’s role as both father and team manager.