Zdenek Stybar carried the momentum from his first season victory on Saturday into the Superprestige race in Hamme Zogge, taking another sprint victory this time over Belgian champion Sven Nys and a sorely disappointed Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Projob).
"It is super, what a dream weekend. I didn't expect that it would succeed to win twice in two days," said a clearly overjoyed Stybar to VT4 after the race.
Belgian wind and a Czech win in Hamme Zogge
On a blustery day, the sinuous and relatively flat course provided little selection, putting World Champion Niels Albert at a disadvantage against his more cagey foes.
As Albert tried to force a selection early in the race, Nys held back and followed wheels, saving his energies and gambling that the wind would sap the energy of the early attackers.
The gamble paid off, and two lead groups came together at the mid-race point, setting Nys up for his trademark attack. The Landbouwkrediet-Colnago rider pulled away a group of four with Stybar, Albert and Vantornout.
A series of attacks put Albert on the defensive, and on the last lap the world champion was uncharacteristically struggling. He finally lost contact as Vantornout put in a late race bid for glory.
But it was Stybar who charged past Vantornout with Nys on his wheel and, like Saturday in Hasselt, the Czech's powerful sprint proved unbeatable.
"Maybe I started my acceleration too late, but certainly at a wrong moment," said Nys, who was left to rue what could have been. "There was a strong headwind and I didn't recover enough for the sprint. Maybe I should've stayed in the wheels longer."
Vantornout, too, could do nothing to counter Stybar's dominant performance. "I'm extremely disappointed because I was so close to the win. But I'm happy to finish on the podium though, and I think my boss will be happy with what I showed too."
Nys and Albert now share the lead in the overall Superprestige Series classification, with Stybar one point behind. Albert was dropped out of the four-man leader's group on the final lap and, as a result, missed out on a podium spot for the first time this season. "I'm disappointed. I wanted to be on the podium and defend my leader's position, but it didn't work out that way. The gaps are small, but I couldn't get on the podium and that's a pity," Albert said.
Sven Vanthourenhout finished a gritty fifth as he returned from a mid-season break for the races this weekend. "I didn't expect a fifth place but during the race I felt good. Of course I didn't know if I could keep it up all race long. I was on third row but could easily move up which meant the legs were good," Vanthourenhout said.
Sole American starter Jonathan Page finished 19th today. After a good start, Page featured for a while in the leader's group, however he eventually dropped back and slipped out of contention.
The fifth round of the Superprestige Series will be held in Gieten, The Netherlands on November 29.
|1||Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||1:03:05|
|2||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago|
|3||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob||0:00:03|
|4||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:00:40|
|5||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob||0:00:43|
|6||Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team|
|7||Radomír Šimunek Ml (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus|
|8||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank|
|9||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team|
|10||Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV|
|11||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas|
|12||Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank|
|13||Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago||0:00:55|
|14||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:01:19|
|15||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof||0:01:54|
|16||Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team|
|17||Tom Van Den Bosch (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW|
|18||Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne|
|19||Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike|
|20||Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne|
|21||Wim Leemans (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus|
|22||Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida|
|23||Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie||0:02:26|
|24||Bart Verschueren (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team|
|25||Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team||0:03:15|
|26||Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team||0:03:23|
|27||Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Rendement Hypo Cyclingteam VZW||0:03:51|
|28||Gianni Denolf (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||0:04:11|
|29||Marco Bianco (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team|
|30||Lukáš Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb - Projob Cycling Team|
|31||Jan Van Dael (Bel) Sunweb-Projob|
|32||Tom De Kort (Bel) AVB - Cycling Team||0:04:31|
|33||Ivar Hartogs (Ned) ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida||0:04:54|
|34||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Team BKCP-Power Plus||0:05:25|
|35||Stijn Huys (Bel) Palmans-Cras||0:06:19|
|36||Bold-Erdene Boldbaatar (Mol)|
|37||Naranbat Ariunbold (Mol)|
|1||Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago||56||pts|
|2||Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||56|
|3||Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||55|
|4||Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob||46|
|5||Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team||37|
|6||Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank||34|
|7||Radomír Šimunek Ml (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus||32|
|8||Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team||31|
|9||Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank||26|
|10||Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob||23|
|11||Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus||22|
|12||Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas||20|
|13||Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago||13|
|14||Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV||12|
|15||Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Team BKCP-Power Plus||5|
|16||Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team||4|
|17||Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida||3|
|18||Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof|
|19||John Gadret (Fra)||1|
|20||Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne|