Video: 2016 Internationale Sluitingsprijs Oostmalle – The End of an Era, Full Results and Brief Report

2016-internationale-sluitingsprijs

OOSTMALLE, Belgium—This was it. Sven Nys’ final race. It seems almost incomprehensible that in a career that’s been going for so long we won’t see him line up again. And yet, today is the day that the chapter of his life as an Elite cyclocross racer ended. Of course, he’s still going to be involved in the sport at the highest level, just outside the tape. And we suspect that that fact will have us all talking about Nys for some time to come.

It wasn’t just fans that were marking the occasion of the legend’s retirement from competition. The current World Champion Wout van Aert noted the occasion on social media.

As for the Elite Men’s race itself, it was a fully European affair with Belgian Kevin Pauwels taking the victory. Nine seconds back, van Aert went head-to-head with Tom Meeusen with the World Champion taking second place by a single second.

Nys rolled in in 25th with long-time teammate Sven Vanthourenhout in 24th. They rolled towards the finish arms around each other’s shoulders talking, with Nys waving to the crowd as well. As the two crossed the line, confetti flew about and they stopped and embraced as a final, emotional show of support for what’s been a stellar career.

In this video you can see the fanfare that came with Nys’ finale. And it’s clear to understand the impact of the moment, even if you don’t speak Flemish.

There obviously was other racing going on as well. for the Elite Women, European and Belgian National Champion Sanne Cant took the win going clear over Loes Sels and Maud Kapththeijns. American Elle Anderson had a great ride and went inside the top 10 finishing in eighth.

For the U23 Men, Belgian Daan Soete won ahead of countryman Quinten Hermans and Czech rider Adam Toupalik. And in the Junior Men’s Race, World Champion Jens Dekker of The Netherlands kept up his winning ways taking the final race of the season. Nineteen seconds back, his countryman Mitch Groot and Toon Vandebosch were second and third separated by just three seconds.

Clearly though, with all the racing that happened today, the man of the hour was Nys.

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