By Brecht Decaluwé
Niels Albert won the second World Cup race of the season in Tabor, Czech Republic where next year's world championships will be held. For the 22 year-old Belgian it is the first World Cup victory of his career. Thanks to his second place in Kalmthout last week, Albert takes over the World Cup leader's jersey from compatriot Sven Nys who finished fourth in Tabor.
Albert had a slow start, but lap after lap he moved up to the front. He joined the front of the race in the sixth out of nine laps, before jumping away one lap later. Right behind him World Cup leader Sven Nys crashed when he rode into Francis Mourey's back wheel. Albert pulled out no more than fifteen seconds on a chasing group with Czech champion Zdenek Stybar, his compatriot Martin Bina and Nys. Nevertheless, Albert held his lead to win solo with Stybar grabbing the second place before an impressive Bina, who pulled off his first ever podium result in a World Cup race. Nys was fourth ahead of the Fidea duo Bart Wellens and Kevin Pauwels.
"I'm super happy," said Albert, who was denied his first World Cup win in a tight sprint against Nys in last week's World Cup. "This is the confirmation from my performance in Kalmthout." Today Albert didn't dominate as he was forced to come back after a poor start. "I started to get into the rhythm with three laps to go after encountering bad luck in the first lap. I attacked very fast and created a gap. Once I had more than ten seconds I knew the others wouldn't be coming back, not on this course," Albert said.
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