Stybar does the double
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stybar does the double

by Nick Mulder at 11:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) has won this afternoon's Superprestige in Hamme-Zogge, capping off a successful weekend that also included a win in yesterday's GP Hasselt. The young Czech proved to be too strong in the final sprint against Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Klaas Vantournout (Sunweb-Projob).

"It is super, what a dream weekend. I didn't expect that I would win twice in two days, now I just have to profit from this feeling. I felt better than yesterday so it's nice to win again," Stybar said to Belgium's VT4 following his second win.

The action started with seven laps remaining where a ten rider group formed on the fast flat course. The large group seemed content riding together as they battled the strong winds. However, with five laps to go Klaas Vantournout was first to test the others, but his efforts failed to break the group up. Vantournout continued to apply the pressure, but it wasn't until an attack by Albert that the group started to drop riders.

A second acceleration by Albert stretched the leading group across the twisty course and created an elite group of four including Nys, Vantournout, and Stybar, as they entered three laps to go. The quartet marched onward, keeping the six chasers 18 seconds behind them with two laps to go. As Nys and Vantournout exchanged pulls, Stybar bided his time, while a suffering Albert sat third wheel.

Stybar lit the fireworks as they entered the field on the last lap, with the trio working arduously behind to hang onto the flying Czech. Halfway through the lap, Albert threw in the towel unable to follow Stybar's pace. Approaching the difficult run-up, Nys tried to take over only to see Vantournout attack with several hundred meters remaining. The lanky Belgian fell victim to the strong headwind, as a powerful Stybar went up and over almost colliding with Nys. Stybar's hands exploded into the air celebrating his second win of the weekend.

"Maybe I started my acceleration too late, but certainly at a wrong moment," commented Nys following his second place. "There was a strong headwind and I didn't recover enough for the sprint. Maybe I should've stayed in the wheels longer."

Vantournout admitted today was his strongest showing of the year, "I'm really disappointed because I was so close to winning. But I'm happy to finish on the podium, and I think my boss will be happy with what I showed today."

Read a first hand account of the race in Jonathan Page's VeloNation blog.

1. Zdenek STYBAR CZE 1:03:05
2. Sven NYS BEL s.t.
3. Klaas VANTORNOUT BEL 1:03:08
4. Niels ALBERT BEL 1:03:45
6. Erwin VERVECKEN BEL s.t.
7. Radomir SIMUNEK CZE s.t.
8. Bart AERNOUTS BEL s.t.
9. Kevin PAUWELS BEL s.t.
11. Enrico FRANZOI ITA s.t.
12. Gerben DE KNEGT NED s.t.
13. Rob PEETERS BEL 1:04:00
14. Dieter VANTHOURENHOUT BEL 1:04:24
15. Thijs VAN AMERONGEN NED 1:04:59
16. Petr DLASK CZE s.t.
17. Tom VAN DEN BOSCH BEL s.t.
19. Jonathan PAGE USA s.t.
20. Thijs AL NED s.t.

Superprestige standings following round 4:
1. Niels Albert 56 pts
2. Sven Nys 56
3. Zdenek Stybar 55
4. Klaas Vantornout 46
5. Kevin Pauwels 37
6. Bart Aernouts 34
7. Radomir Simunek 32
8. Erwin Vervecken 31
9. Gerben de Knegt 26
10. Sven Vanthourenhout 23


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