Zdenek Stybar takes Tervuren cross race in style
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Stybar takes Tervuren in style

by Bjorn Haake at 10:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Race Reports and Results

Zdenek Stybar dominated the cross race in Tervuren today. He rode most of the race solo, not taking into account the company by the many riders he lapped. Sven Nys came in second, Kevin Pauwels was third. Jonathan Page narrowly missed the top ten.

Stybar was excited about his win. "I thought as the season goes on I'd get worse and worse, but my condition gets better and better,"  he told Sporza after the race. Stybar felt this was a good sign as he enters an important period, with the Czech championships in one week's time. "It is supposed to snow before that race, too." Stybar likes snowy races, although it is too early to tell if Tabor will also see snow during the Worlds, which are another month away.

Stybar takes the wins as they come, even if they are not World Cup races. "To win any cross race is nice and good for my confidence." At one point he realized how close he was to losing it. "I heard that Albert was only about three seconds back , so I accelerated. After the lap the gap was thirty seconds."

Albert was annoyed about this part of the race, as he had mechanical trouble. "I was chasing well after Stybar, but then I had problems with my pedals. That was really frustrating." His mechanic explained that "there was snow and water in the pedals. We put a special coating on, but in these extreme conditions it didn't work." Stybar also had some problems. "I lost a few seconds here and there."

Albert was feeling ok before the Belgian Championships. "I was going well today except for the pedal problems." Albert denied that he is the main favorite for Sunday. "I think I am the favorite together with Sven Nys. Kevin Pauwels will also do well."

Nys on the other hand thought Albert was the favorite. "The course is better suited to him." Today, Nys left Albert behind, but couldn't catch Stybar. "I was not real happy with the tires I chose. The ground was very slippery. Stybar was going very well and it was too hard to catch him."

Nys described the decisive moment when Stybar opened the gap. "I was a bit too far to the right and I didn't see the big dip. I tried to avoid going over the handle bar." He was quick to point out that this wasn't an excuse. "I didn't lose because of this. Stybar was simply the best."

Page with good start

The course was similar to the Luxembourg race, where Page finished third. Muddy single track in the forest and a snow covered ground helped Page to a great start and he led halfway through the first lap. He then shadowed Nys and Sven Vanthourenhout, who took over. Albert on the other hand had a bad start and wasn't in the top ten.

Enrico Franzoi also didn't do well in the first lap, as he crashed when trying to pass on the inside of a right hand bend.

The chasers included Pauwels, Klaas Vantornout, Stybar and Francis Mourey. Albert moved up to this group, with young Tom Meeusen also in this line.

The climb had a straight line up and a 'detour' around on the right. In the second lap, Sven Vanthourenhout went around on the right and managed to pass Nys. After this most racers opted for the right line the rest of the race.

Page couldn't follow the accelerations of the Fidea duo and dropped back a little.

In the third lap, Nys accelerated to take the lead. The experienced Belgian realized the trouble he had on the climb in the previous lap and chose the right lane on the uphill this time. This worked but both riders had trouble in the descent, allowing a merge for an eight-man front group. Page was about 20 seconds back at this point.

In the fourth lap, Stybar attacked and put a nice gap in. Nys crashed and held up the chase even more. He also needed to change bikes.

Stybar entered the fifth lap with a gap of 22 seconds. Albert came to the front of the group for the first time and attacked hard. Page was still fighting behind with Rob Peeters. The two were always within sight of the front group.

Albert's pace put Meeusen under pressure and the youngster made a costly mistake. After a crash he needed to change bikes and fell back into the chase group..

Albert was within three seconds when a slower rider prevented him from taking the perfect line. Albert had to get off and hard time clipping back in. After a bike change he was 18 seconds behind.

With a lap to go Albert had fallen behind the Nys chase group and was now 40 seconds down. Nys and Pauwels were 28 seconds behind lone leader Stybar. He celebrated early to win by only six seconds in the end.
Results cross Tervuren

1 Zdenek Stybar
2 Sven Nys at 0'06 secs
3 Kevin Pauwels 0'17
4 Tom Meeusen 0'27
5 Niels Albert 0'27
6 Francis Mourey
7 Petr Dlask
8 Sven Vanthournhout 1'10
9 Enrico Franzoi
10 Rob Peeters
11 Jonathan Page
17 Jamey Driscoll
27 Jeremy Powers



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