Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) captured a logical win at the Czech national championships in Hlinsko on Saturday afternoon. On a course that combined mud with snow, the 25-year-old world champion rode away from the rest of the pack during the first lap; Stybar wasn't seen again by the others until he stepped onto the podium.
"I was highly motivated at the start and focused. Luckily, I was first on the road right on the first lap, " said Stybar.
Martin Zlamalik (Sunweb-Revor) was happy with his silver medal at almost one minute off Stybar. European mountain bike marathon champion Jaroslav Kulhavy (Specialized Factory Racing) finished third after working hard to stay near Stybar during the first half of the race.
Highly rated riders like Radomir Simunek (BCKP-Powerplus) and Martin Bina (Budweiser) didn't take the start in Hlinsko due to injuries.
The young Karel Hnik (Telenet-Fidea) had the best start in snowy Hlinkso until the 19-year-old was quickly passed by Stybar on a muddy, uphill stretch. Zlamalik tried to keep up with Stybar but quickly found out it wouldn't happen.
"The track was wet so it was a difficult battle," said Stybar. "Despite the mud, I found the lines to be often changing. It was a constant twisting and turning and uphill and downhill. I knew the course also, because I had previously race it four times."
Kulhavy took over second place from Zlamalik and worked hard to get back to Stybar. For more than a lap, the two were each others match and after three laps, Kulhavy was still riding within 15 seconds from the world champion. From that moment onward, Kulhavy had to recover from his efforts, and Stybar gained ground.
Behind Stybar and Kulhavy, Tomas Paprtska (ExpresCZ-Scott) moved into third place but he had Zlamalik, Petr Dlask (Telenet-Fidea), David Kasek (Budweiser) and Vladimir Kyzivat on his tail.
During the fourth lap, Stybar build up a comfortable 25-second gap on Kulhavy. Chasers Paprtska, Kasek, Kyzivat and Zlamalik were gaining ground on the Kulhavy.
Halfway through the race, Stybar got into traffic, as several riders got lapped by the world champion. With still 20 minutes of racing left, Zlamalik moved up and got within seven seconds of Kulhavy, who trailed Stybar by 36 seconds. In the closing laps, Zlamalik left Kulhavy behind.
The race went well over an hour, and Stybar had time to celebrate his win while finishing his race in front of plenty of fans. The cold and snowy roads didn't deter spectators from coming out to cheer. Zlamalik was clearly delighted with second place, as was Kulhavy with his bronze medal.
Six-time national champion Veteran Dlask rolled across the line in fourth place.
It was Stybar's fifth national title - this third elite after taking two as a junior.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Zdenek Štybar (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team)||1:04:45|
|2||Martin Zlámalík (Sunweb - Revor Team)||0:00:52|
|3||Jaroslav Kulhavý (Factory Racing Specialized)||0:01:19|
|4||Petr Dlask (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team)||0:02:04|
|5||David Kášek (Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor)||0:02:16|
|6||Vladimír Kyzivát (Johnson Controls Aš Mb)||0:02:29|
|7||Tomáš Paprstka (Remerx Cycling Team Kolín)||0:02:47|
|8||Karel Hník (Telenet Fidea Cycling Team)||0:03:22|
|9||Ondrej Bambula (Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor)||0:03:23|
|10||Lubomír Petruš (Kc Hlinsko)||0:03:33|
|11||Zdenek Mlynár (Max Cursor)||0:03:57|
|12||Michael Boroš (Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor)||0:04:50|
|13||Jan Nesvadba (Kc Kooperativa Sg Jablonec N.N)|
|14||Jirí Friedl (Rubena Birell Specialized)||0:05:08|
|15||Filip Eberl (Remerx Cycling Team Kolín)||0:05:13|
|16||Radek Polnický (Empella Czech Team)||0:05:29|
|17||Marek Rauchfuss (Remerx Cycling Team Kolín)||0:05:50|
|18||Karel Nepraš (Ack Stará Ves N. Ondrejnicí)|
|19||Matej Lasák (Max Cursor)|
|20||Ivo Plevák (Max Cursor)|
|21||Lukáš Sáblík (Kc Kooperativa Sg Jablonec N.N)|
|22||Bretislav Rohel (Bikestyle.Cz)|
|23||Michal Benda (Johnson Controls Aš Mb)|
|24||Tomáš Janošek (Ack Stará Ves N. Ondrejnicí)|
|25||Tomáš Podrazil (Tj Sokol Holé Vrchy)|
|26||Michal Malík (Kc Kooperativa Sg Jablonec N.N)|
|27||Tomáš Barták (Remerx Cycling Team Kolín)|
|28||Jaroslav Musil (Caffenannini.Cz Cycling Mtb Team)|
|29||David Kramár (Kona Cycling Point)|
|30||Viktor Klos (S.K. Jirí Team Ostrava)|
|31||Václav Svatoš (Tj Sokol Holé Vrchy)|
|32||Josef Suchý (Johnson Controls Aš Mb)|
|33||Tomáš Holický (Rbb Invest Jindr. Hradec)|