By Brecht Decaluwé
Sven Nys won a three-man sprint in Ruddervoorde on Sunday to claim the win in the first Superprestige race of the season and his fifth victory in as many races; not every high-profile rider in the field was as happy with their own form as the seemingly unstoppable Nys, however.
Czech champion Zdenek Stybar was one of the favourites before the race in Ruddervoorde. The young Fidea rider took a good start but he couldn't follow Nys and Vantornout when they attacked in the third lap. Nevertheless the Czech kept leading the chase together with Niels Albert until halfway the race. Stybar started dropping back and was riding in seventh position with Bart Wellens when his tubular came off the rim. “I didn't have a good day; I couldn't get my pulse high enough. I'm disappointed but I'm not worried since I trained well,” Stybar told Cyclingnews. Next week the Czech is defending his title at the World Cup in Kalmthout.
World champion Lars Boom entered his first cyclo-cross race of the season in Ruddervoorde. Before the race the Dutchman explained that he wasn't expecting too much of the race. “My form is ok but I'm not expecting too much of this race. I'm proud that I can show off a great jersey,” he said. The Rabobank rider pulled off the hole shot but then faded away as the race unfolded. Eventually Boom finished in an anonymous 18th place.
After the race Cyclingnews caught up with the Dutchman and asked about how he looked back on his performance. “What can I say, it's as good as last year in my first race,” Boom said while stretching. “I started good and led the field but then I fell short in the sand and in the typical cyclo-cross skills. I need a couple of races to get that going again but I know that I would be at the front if it's a race with long stretches where you need a lot of power. Thursday I'm racing in Ardooie and then I should be performing a bit better next week in Kalmthout,” he added.