Stybar learns Flemish the hard way
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Monday, November 09, 2009

Stybar learns Flemish the hard way

by Bjorn Haake at 2:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
 

Czech rider Zdenek Stybar is already giving interviews in Flemish and shouted a new vocabulary on Sunday. When he stepped onto the podium he voiced his frustration with a "Godverdomme" (Goddammit), after an agonizingly close loss against Niels Albert in the World Cup Cross in Nommay, France.

"When you lose a World Cup in this way [tight sprint] then there are no other words for it. It's a real pity," Stybar said to Sportwereld.

Stybar was away with Albert, heading into the last lap with a gap of less than a dozen seconds over a small chase group which included Sven Nys. Stybar tried to avoid a sprint against Albert with a surprise move in the final lap. "Afterwards you can ask yourself: What would have happened if I wouldn't have attacked in the last lap?" Albert, who was leading the whole time, was caught off-guard and lost several meters.

But the Belgian came back, went immediately to the front to keep Nys at bay (who had come within five seconds) , then started the sprint from the front an pulled off the win. Stybar wasn't sure if it would have made a difference. "But it certainly wasn't ideal. I would have done better to save my energy for the sprint. Well, each cross you learn a little."

Stybar won two smaller cross races in the Czech Republic this year, but has yet to win one with the big boys. "I have to be patient. Every week I come closer to victory. At the Koppenbergcross it was ten seconds, in Hoogstraten five and here in Nommay it was a mere five centimeters. Can't come much closer than that," he added with a grin.

Stybar is optimistic for the next few races. "I still trained this week in Mallorca, with the thought on the tough races that are coming up end of November. When you do two cross races on a weekend, the training and the power has to be increased. And in that I have a lot of confidence now."

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