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Azencross Loenhout (Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee Veldrijden #5) - C1
Loenhout, Belgium, December 30, 2008
Race 4 - December 30: Elite Men
Stybar stars on ice
By Brecht Decaluwé in Loenhout, Belgium
Two days after winning the evening 'cross race in Diegem, 23-year-old Zdenek Stybar has won the 'Spadescross' in Loenhout. The frozen course in Loenhout didn't bother the Czech and he got away with Sven Nys on the penultimate lap. Stybar led the last lap, led out the sprint and managed to hold on to that position until the finish line. One week before the national championships and one month prior to the world championships Stybar seems to be back in form at the right time.
"Halfway through the race I tested my legs to see who could follow. I didn't continue the attack because it was too early, but that was the moment where I knew I was good," Stybar said to Cyclingnews. "In the last lap there were no more tactics. It was full out. I didn't want the others to come up so I kept pulling. I led the whole lap and started the sprint. It was special to beat Nys but also the fact that he couldn't take over when I asked him gave me a lot of morale," Stybar added.
Belgian champion Nys was beaten in the sprint by Stybar. The leader in the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy didn't search for excuses, though. "It wasn't possible to do much against Stybar today. The whole race long he showed initiative and in the last lap I wasn't even comfortable on his wheel," Nys said. "I gambled on my sprint and managed to come beside him, but not further than that."
Thanks to his victory Stybar moved up to third place in the classification of the GvA-trophy. Leader Nys did a good job in the classification since second placed Bart Wellens only managed a fourth place in Loenhout, thus losing five more points to Nys; the latter now leads Wellens by 25 points. "This was a dangerous race with risks to my overall classification so I rode attentively," Nys said.
Just behind Stybar and Nys there was another duo battling hard to get back to the leaders but they fell two seconds short at the finish line. Stybar's compatriot Radomir Simunek held off Bart Wellens for the remaining podium spot, showing that there's not only competition coming from The Netherlands for the Belgians.
"Stybar is clearly in good shape. This is good for Czech cyclo-cross," Simunek said before thanking his sponsor. It was the last race that the blue kits of the Palmans team would be spotted in cyclo-cross. "With this result I'm thanking Charles Palmans for the four nice years he offered me in his team. Hopefully the next era at the new BKCP - Power Plus team will be just as good," Simunek said.
All race long the speed had been very high, making it impossible for riders to get away in front. As a result the gaps were created at the back of the group. About 20 riders were still in touch with the front halfway the race, among them all the favorites but also American stars Ryan Trebon and Jeremy Powers. With two laps to go a surprisingly strong Eddy Van Ijzendoorn played all or nothing with a blistering attack. The 23-year-old Dutchman was brought back by Stybar and Nys, a duo who were able to up the tempo even more and battle for the victory.
The start of the race had been marred by a crash that included the national champion from Luxembourg, Jempy Drucker, who had to be brought to a hospital with a broken collarbone. Three laps later World Champion Lars Boom had a nasty crash when entering the street towards the finish line. One lap earlier the Dutchman had grabbed the three bonus points at the intermediate sprint but this time his chain jammed, causing him to lose control and slip out of his pedals before crashing to the ground.
Boom didn't sustain any serious injuries though continuing the race wasn't possible. "I've got a deep wound in my elbow and that ought to be stitched. I've also got some scrapes on my knee. I don't think anything is broken but I'll have some photos taken to make sure about that," Boom said to Sporza.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Cyclingnews.com
Elite Men (76 riders) 1 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 1.01.07 2 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 3 Radomír imunek (Cze) Palmans - Cras 0.02 4 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 5 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 0.12 6 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 0.17 7 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 8 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans - Cras 9 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 10 Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 0.18 11 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Palmans - Cras 12 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 0.19 13 Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com 14 Christian Heule (Swi) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 15 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 0.23 16 Wesley Van der Linden (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 0.48 17 Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida 0.52 18 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas 1.27 19 René Birkenfeld (Ger) Stevens Racing Team 20 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 21 Mariusz Gil (Pol) 1.29 22 Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Columbia 1.58 23 Jody Crawforth (GBr) Arctic Premier 2.01 24 Ben Berden (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 2.07 25 Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned) 26 Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 2.08 27 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Exe Jeans 2.09 28 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 29 Stijn Huys (Bel) Palmans Cras 2.10 30 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Easypay Cyclocross Team 2.12 31 Keiichi Tsujiura (Jpn) 2.16 32 Roman Barenyi (Svk) 2.20 33 Paul Voss (Ger) 2.25 34 Johannes Sickmueller (Ger) 2.54 35 Bart Verschueren (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 2.55 36 Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles 2.57 37 Christian Poulsen (Swi) 2.58 38 Gusty Bausch (Lux) VC Diekirch 2.59 39 Brian Matter (USA) 3.03 40 Santiago Armero Sanchez (Spa) 3.39 41 Unai Yus Kerejeta (Spa) 42 Martin Haring (Svk) Ck p port Podbrezová 43 Troy Wells (USA) Clif Bar 3.40 44 Sven Renders (Bel) 3.43 45 Florian Le Corre (Fra) Super Sport 35 ACNC 3.44 46 Marco Bianco (Ita) L´Arcobaleno Carraro Team 4.08 47 Derrick St John (Can) 4.27 48 Tim Heemskerk (Ned) 49 Cyrille Prise (Fra) 4.28 50 Jerry Kallenfels (Ned) Easypay Cyclocross Team 4.29 51 Christophe Le Bouedec (Fra) 4.45 52 Matt Shriver (USA) One lap behind 53 David Toullec (Fra) 54 Aaron Schooler (Can) 55 Michael Bleuzen (Fra) Two laps behind 56 Andre Sutton (Can) Hardcore Cycling Club 57 Sébastien Le Naour (Fra) Intermediate sprint 1 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 3 pts 2 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 2 3 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 1 Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee standings after six races 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 167 pts 2 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 142 3 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 129 4 Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank 5 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 123 pts 6 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 114 7 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank 100 8 Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Tönissteiner 99 9 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank 98 10 Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) Palmans - Cras 91 11 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans - Cras 87 12 Richard Groenendaal (Ned) AA Drink - Be One 83 13 Radomír imunek (Cze) Palmans - Cras 75 14 Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 66 15 Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida 61 16 Petr Dlask (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 60 17 Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 18 Ben Berden (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 59 pts 19 Jan Verstraeten (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 55 20 Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 53 21 Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof 39 22 Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 23 David Willemsens (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 24 Christian Heule (Swi) Rendementhypo Cycling Team 35 pts 25 Mariusz Gil (Pol) 34 26 Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas 33 27 Davy Commeyne (Bel) Revor Cycling Team 28 Marco Bianco (Ita) L´Arcobaleno Carraro Team 30 pts 29 Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Projob Cycling Team 27 30 Wesley Van der Linden (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job 26 31 Nico Berckmans (Bel) DCM-GB Vorselaar Cycling Team 24 32 Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 21 33 Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com 18 34 Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Easypay Cyclocross Team 17 35 Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike 14 36 Marek Cichosz (Pol) 37 René Birkenfeld (Ger) Stevens Racing Team 12 pts 38 Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel 39 Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned) 11 pts 40 Roger Hammond (GBr) Team Columbia 9 41 Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles 42 Jody Crawforth (GBr) Arctic Premier 8 pts 43 Oscar Vazquez (Spa) 44 Jimmy Tielens (Bel) Team Mega Saeco - Heist o/d berg 7 pts 45 Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team 46 Steven De Schoesitter (Bel) Rudyco Cycling Team 47 Andre Sutton (Can) Hardcore Cycling Club 48 Tim Heemskerk (Ned) 6 pts 49 Gusty Bausch (Lux) VC Diekirch 50 Stijn Huys (Bel) Palmans Cras 5 pts 51 Pieter Ghyllebert (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen 52 Magnus Darvell (Swe) Rietumu Bank-Riga 53 Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Exe Jeans 4 pts 54 Carlos Hernandez (Spa) 55 Freddy De Meester (Bel) Rijschool AH - Gentse VS 3 pts 56 Jerry Kallenfels (Ned) Easypay Cyclocross Team 2 57 Ken Smets (Bel) 1 Intermediate sprint classification 1 Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Tönissteiner 8 pts 2 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank 7 3 Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 6 4 Niels Albert (Bel) Palmans - Cras 3 5 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Fidea Cycling Team 2 6 Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne 7 Bart Wellens (Bel) Fidea Cycling Team 1 8 Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank