Albert wins in muddy Plzen
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Albert wins in muddy Plzen

by Nick Mulder at 1:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross

The young World Champion Niels Albert also added the second Cyclocross World Cup held in the Czech Plzen to his already full palmares. Albert, 23, reined over the muddy parcours that saw him distance his rivals on the uphill asphalt section.

“And they said that Treviso and Plzen didn’t suit me,” smiled Albert. “Fast circuits where I couldn’t win. But I won them both. From now on we will race on terrain that suits me 100 percent,” he told Het Nieuwsblad, sending a clear warning to his rivals.

“There will be many duels to follow,” Nys warned. “On this course, not technical, I couldn’t follow Niels and I realized I was riding for the second place. He will ride way from me again, but the opposite is also true.”

Stybar shows off on home turf

The Czech Zdenek Stybar wanted to impress in front of his home crowds, blasting out of the starting blocks as Albert was delayed by a missed start while Sven Nys was positioned as 46th after dropping out of the first World Cup in Treviso. But neither champions had any problems, zigzagging through the peloton to return to the front within a lap.

Meanwhile Stybar had amassed a 16 second lead, but Albert turned on the jets and went after him with a small group on his wheel including Kevin Pauwels, Nys, French champion Francis Mourey, and American underdog Jonathan Page. After four laps Albert rejoined Stybar after hammering several laps, Nys remained in his wheel but Mourey and Page couldn’t follow his pace.

Entering the sixth lap, Albert powered away from Stybar on the uphill asphalt section leaving remnants in the form of Nys, Pauwels, and Mourey. The trio quickly caught the exhausted Stybar, as he struggled to follow Albert.

Albert finished Plzen, his seventh win of the season, 19 seconds ahead of archrival Nys who used his technical skills to surprise Stybar in the final turn 70 meters before the finish. Pauwels and Mourey came across the line in fourth and fifth, respectively. Page ended up 13th while Albert solidified his lead over Stybar in the World Cup rankings.


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