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Thibau Nys (20) is the only Belgian who left Hoogerheide with a rainbow jersey. The question is: where do his abilities reach on the road? “With his explosiveness, he may mean something in the classics in the future,” says dad Sven Nys.
On winter training with Trek-Segafredo, Thibau Nys floored his Danish leader Mads Pedersen in 8 of the 10 sprints.
It was a great anecdote that Sven Nys told last weekend in Karl Vannieuwkerke’s World Cup studio. But Nys wants to nuance those “sprint victories”.
“It was about acceleration from a certain basic speed. In those first meters, Thibau is faster than Mads due to his explosiveness. But if the sprint is continued, Thibau can never kick the same values as Mads.”
2023 will be a journey of discovery for Thibau on the road. At Trek-Segafredo they will test it on different terrains.
Still, it says something about Nys’ potential as a road racer.
Classics? Stage races? Mass sprints? In which areas can Nys score in the long term?
“This season will be a journey of discovery for Thibau on the road. At Trek-Segafredo they will test him on different terrains.”
“Thibau is fast, but is he also fast enough in flat sprints?” Sven Nys wonders.
“I know that Thibau likes time trials. The shorter the time trial, the better for him. We often see that with riders who are explosive. Thibau has also invested in his time trial in the past year.”
Is there possibly also a cyclist hiding in Nys? “It is true that he is light. But Thibau himself says that the high mountains are not for him.”
“Now Thibau weighs 64 kilograms. But as he gets older, some kilograms will be added. I think that in the long term he will come into his own on shorter slopes.”
Thibau Nys already rode a few road races in the Trek-Segafredo shirt last year.
“Thibau is still too young for the classics”
When we think of world champions in the field who make a mess on the road, we automatically end up with Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel.
“Whether Thibau can grow into that type of rider? To be honest, I think there are only 2 riders of that caliber in the world,” says Sven Nys.
“But with his explosiveness, he might mean something in the classics in the future.”
Will Thibau be admired in the spring races this year? “He will possibly drive Nokere Koerse and Denain in mid-March. But that will be without ambitions. The intention is to gain competition rhythm there.”
“Thibau (20) is still too young for the classics. He still lacks volume, strength and experience.”
“In the stage races, in addition to his role as a team player, Thibau will also be able to seize his own opportunity here and there.”
Nys normally rides the Tour de Romandie, the Tour of Norway, the Baloise Belgium Tour and the Tour of Wallonia as the last springboard towards the World Cup for U23 riders. After that, the Benelux Tour is also on his provisional program.
Thibau Nys is 20 years young.
“Cross or road? One is not more important than the other”
In the autumn months of the road season, the cross also opens its doors again. How will Thibau combine cyclocross and the road in the coming years? And what gets the most weight? Field or road?
“The intention is that it is fifty-fifty. One may not be more important than the other,” explains Sven Nys.
But does Thibau think so too? “At the end of the cross season I often hear him say that he is really looking forward to the road races.”
“And at the end of the road season, Thibau says that he is very excited about the cross.”
“Starting the cross season only after mid-November – like Wout and Mathieu – is not yet for the next few years.”
“That may change if Thibau is one day ready for the classics. But Thibau is only 20. He still has to discover himself in the coming years.”