Cross roundup: Stybar rues Worlds illness after Superprestige win
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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cross roundup: Stybar rues Worlds illness after Superprestige win

by Kyle Moore at 8:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results
Nys takes GP Stad Eeklo, Pauwels bests Van der Haar at GP Heuts

Zdenek StybarZdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) sprinted to victory ahead of Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) in yesterday’s Superprestige finale in Middelkerke, and while he is excited to finish the season with strong form, the win had him wondering what might have been at the World Cyclo-cross Championships two weeks ago.

Though he had seemed as if he had hit top condition for that race in Koksijde, Belgium, the Czech national champion suffered from a fever the day before the race. Stybar got a quick start in the elite men’s championship but quickly faded, eventually finishing 13th behind the unprecedented Belgian first through seventh place sweep.

Two weeks on, the Superprestige wound up with Nys taking the series victory, but he could do nothing against Stybar in the closing laps on the frozen Middelkerke course.

After breaking away and riding the final four laps with Nys, Stybar easily held off the Belgian in the sprint, continuing the red-hot streak his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team has gotten started on the road. Stybar was getting ready for his own road campaign in the days leading up to the Middelkerke race.

“This week I trained in Mallorca on my road bike with my team-mates, and I enjoyed it a lot. Honestly, I was surprised to be so strong,” the Czech rider remarked yesterday. “I tried to give my best, even just to please my dad. He predicted my victory last night on the phone, and I couldn’t let him down. The course was super, with a lot of corners.”

On a course made fast by the cold, with only two barriers and a short sandy section to navigate, the pace was high throughout. Stybar ran into trouble early on, coming down in the sandy section. But he would eventually work his way back to the front of the group, before leaving all but Nys behind.

“After the crash in the first part of the race I tried to stay calm and find my rhythm,” Stybar added. “The last laps with Nys were fantastic. I really enjoyed sharing the lead with him surrounded by all the supporters.

“After this race I’m even more disappointed with the World Championships. I was in great condition but the sickness did not allow me to be competitive.”

Nys out-kicks Meeusen in GP Stad Eeklo

In Sunday’s cyclo-cross action, Nys sprinted to the win ahead of Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) in the GP Stad Eeklo in Eeklo, Belgium. The Kannibaal emerged from an eight-man group that also contained world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Klaas Vantornout (Subweb-Revor). The win caps a successful weekend for Nys after he secured the Superprestige series victory yesterday.

GP Stad Eeklo brief results:

1, Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) in 59 minutes 8 seconds
2, Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) s.t.
3, Marcel Meisen (BKCP-Powerplus) s.t.
4, Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) at 5 secs
5, Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus) at 5 secs

Pauwels bests U-23 World Champ in GP Heuts

Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) rode away from Lars Van der Haar (Rabo-Giant Offroad) on a snow-covered course in Heerlen, Netherlands on Sunday. Thijs Van Amerongen (AA rounded out the podium in third, and Jonathan Page (Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles) was fourth.

For Page, the high finish was a bit of a consolation after finishing a tough Superprestige, where the American failed to net any points – feelings he expressed on his Twitter account after the race: “Fourth today in chilly Heerlen! I wasn’t sick, wasn’t hurt, my bikes were great, and I had no back luck! Wow!” he wrote.

In the women’s race, Daphny van den Brand (AA took the victory in her home country.

Internationale Cyclo-cross Heerlen GP Heuts – Elite Men brief results:

1, Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor) in 59 minutes 30 seconds
2, Lars van der Haar (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team) at 13 secs
3, Thijs Van Amerongen (Team AA at 1 minute 9 secs
4, Jonathan Page (Planet Bike-Blue Bicycles) at 1 minute 28 secs
5, Gert-Jan Bosman (Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team) s.t.

Elite Women brief results:

1, Daphny van den Brand (AA Drink - in 37 minutes 50 seconds
2, Sanne van Paassen (Brainwash) at 10 secs
3 Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) at 18 secs
4 Sophie de Boer (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) at 36 secs
5 Helen Wyman (Kona Factory Racing) at 1 minute 16 secs


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