By Brecht Decaluwé
Sven Nys (Rabobank) won the second round of the Cyclo-Cross World Cup Saturday in Tabor. The peloton traveled to Tabor, Czech Republic to race one hour on the World Championships course of 2010, challenging the second event in the UCI World Cup. Local hero and UCI-leader Zdenek Stybar – winner of the first World Cup event in Kalmthout – surprised the field when he bunny-hopped the 40cm plank barriers on a slightly uphill sector, but Nys took on the challenge. The Belgian forced his rival to the limit and one by one the riders dropped back, until with two laps to go Nys was on his own in front.
"I didn't know where it would happen; I just kept riding at full speed. I realized that I could break but then I wouldn't care. The speed went up for two laps and I noticed the others were at their limit," Nys commented on how he wore his opponents down. "The new sand sector made up for a more honest race. I could accelerate, and clearly everybody would be in the red."
Nys is unmistakably reigning again in the cyclo-cross world, and he couldn't help to badger some of his opponents in his comments after the race. "I've got the feeling some riders can't get sleep the night before the race, they're scared out of their pants, but it doesn't keep me awake really," Nys taunted.
With this win the Belgian captured a well-deserved fifth victory of the season and his second World Cup round win in Tabor. Behind him Klaas Vantornout got rid of Dutch champion Lars Boom in the last minute to claim second place. A best-ever result in a World Cup race for the Fidea rider after a third place in Igorre, Spain, last year.
"I'm going well for a while now but I felt I could do even better, finishing second is fantastic for me," Vantornout said. The Belgian felt first place was within his reach if Stybar would have left him some space. "Stybar lost all speed so I had to come from too far to catch Nys. Nevertheless, I tried but it was impossible. I feel we were worth each other today," he commented on how he lost the battle for victory.
Dutch champion Lars Boom was happy with his third place in his second cyclo-cross race of the season. "I had a great start today and despite a minor mistake I managed to stay near the front. Riding on this course was fun, especially after the awful course in Kalmthout last week," Boom expressed his unhappiness about last week's World Cup course." The young Dutchman also spotted a bunny-hopping Stybar today. "During the warming-up I already saw him trying. During the race I noticed he enjoyed an advantage, but afterwards I could always come back," Boom smiled and tried to turn down the excitement.