Stybar racks up World Cup win in sprint battle

Nys, Vantornout bested by Czech champ

After winning two races last weekend, Czech champion Zdenek Stybar added to streak with a spectacular win in the fourth round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Koksijde.

The Telenet Fidea rider found himself in a group of five coming to the line, and unleashed a perfectly timed sprint to claim the win over Belgian champion Sven Nys and Klaas Vantornout.

World Champion and World Cup leader Niels Albert took fourth ahead of Frenchman Francis Mourey.

Stybar rode a strong race, occasionally riding up dunes where others were forced to dismount and run. "Unbelievable. I don't have any words for this. I can't believe I've won three races in a row," Stybar said after his win.

The young Czech, who doesn't consider himself to be a sand specialist, finished third in the same race last year and this year defied even his own expectations to win the most important sand race of the season.

"It's not only about the sand in this race. This year it was a little bit easier because it was wet, but form is also an important factor here," said Stybar after proving himself one of the only riders able to ride up certain dunes.

Entering the last sections of the race Stybar sneaked past Nys and into the lead. "Riding in front over there was crucial because last year Nys attacked on that last dune and rode completely to the top where others had to run," Stybar said. "Winning here is very important because it's like breaking through a barrier."

"Of course it's important to race and win in Koksijde. Now I don't have to be afraid of my rivals on these courses," said Stybar, who concluded that if he can win in the sand he can win anywhere.

Gracious in defeat, runner-up Nys congratulated Stybar on his victory. "I had good sensations today and I'm happy about my race. I came in the lead at the right moment during the lap and I wanted to attack on the next dune, but then Stybar passed me; top class from him. The top riders are so close to one another these days, but Stybar's the fastest and he's a deserved winner," Nys said.

Stybar steps up the standings

Niels Albert remains in the lead of the World Cup standings after four rounds, but the World Champion's lead has been narrowed to 15 points over the in-form Stybar.

While the Belgian and Czech rider have forged their positions through World Cup race wins, Francis Mourey has proven that consistency is worth almost as much. The French champion has finished fifth in all four rounds of the World Cup this season, a record that puts him in third overall at 80 points from Albert.

Struck by an apparent mid-season slump, Albert told Cyclingnews his morale has dipped after a dominant start to the season.

"My form is low right now and things are not going my way anymore. Halfway the race I received a gap but I was unable to develop it and keep the others at distance. In reality, I blew up my engine there and I had nothing left for the sprint. Hopefully my form will get better soon," said Albert before heading to the doping control.

One rider who was paying particular attention to the anti-doping controls at the race was the USA's Jonathan Page. The American missed a control at the same race last season after pulling out half-way through the event. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing by the USADA, but the incident has clearly left its mark on Page. This year, Page was trying to find the list of riders who were to face controls, but was unable to locate the UCI's anti-doping controllers.

"One year it's like this, and then the next it's done in another way. This is how things go wrong," said Page.

Page's frustration was not helped by a 27th place finish. "When is luck going to turn my way? I had two flat tyres today. I tried to stay cool after puncturing and pick it up later [Page rode the second fastest time on lap six – ed.] but it wasn't to be," Page said.

Belgian star Bart Wellens returned to racing in Koksijde and in spite of a back row starting position he finished in a solid thirteenth spot. The riders will return to World Cup action next week in Igorre, Spain for the final round of the series.


1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team1:04:23 
2Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago  
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob0:00:01 
4Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus  
5Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux0:00:03 
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank0:00:12 
7Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank0:00:18 
8Erwin Vervecken (Bel)0:00:47 
9Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob0:01:11 
10Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:01:28 
11Radomír Šimunek Ml (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus0:01:38 
12Steve Chainel (Fra) Bouygues Telecom0:01:47 
13Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:01:48 
14Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus0:01:51 
15Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas  
16John Gadret (Fra) AG2R LA MONDIALE0:02:00 
17Christian Heule (Swi) RendementhypoCycling Team0:02:07 
18Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:02:09 
19Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team0:02:13 
20Marco Bianco (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team0:02:33 
21Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team  
22Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne0:02:48 
23Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie0:03:05 
24Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Vacansoleil0:03:17 
25Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower Mountainbike-Team0:03:23 
26Martin Bína (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor0:03:25 
27Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike0:03:57 
28Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Exe Jeans0:04:14 
29Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel0:04:17 
30Fabio Ursi (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito0:04:19 
31Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Differdange0:04:46 
32Jérôme Chevallier (Fra) AC Besançon0:05:04 
33Johannes Sickmüller (Ger) Stevens Cyclocross Team Hamburg0:05:21 
34Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/GSI0:05:28 
35Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls AS MB0:05:47 
36Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne0:05:57 
37Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) KED Bianchi Berlin0:05:58 
38Alessandro Gambino (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito0:06:02 
39Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Team Král0:06:13 
40Jody Crawforth (GBr) Arctic - Premier RT0:06:51 
41Luca Damiani (Ita) Colavita Sutter Home -1 lap 
42Ivar Hartogs (Ned)  
43Milan Barenyi (Svk)  
44Tommy Nielsen (Den)  
45Jonathan Lopez (Fra) VC La Pomme Marseille  
46Joachim Parbo (Den) CCV Cyclo crosss Team -2 laps 
47Robert Glajza (Svk)  
48Sascha Wagner (Ger) Stevens Cyclocross Team Hamburg  
49Gusty Bausch (Lux) LC Kayl  
50Martin Haring (Svk) -3 laps 
51Mike Garrigan (Can) -4 laps 
52Ariunbold Naranbat (Mgl) -6 laps 
53Boldbaatar Bold-Erdene (Mgl)  
World Cup standings after 4 rounds
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus300pts
2Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team285 
3Francis Mourey (Fra) Française des Jeux220 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob219 
5Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago205 
6Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team198 
7Gerben de Knegt (Ned) Rabobank180 
8Christian Heule (Swi) RendementhypoCycling Team172 
9Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas164 
10Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank163 
11Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Prodoli Racing Team152 
12Erwin Vervecken (Bel) Baboco Revor150 
13Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team142 
14Radomír Šimunek Ml (Cze) BKCP - Power Plus132 
15Martin Bína (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor129 
16Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne129 
17Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP - Powerplus125 
18Mariusz Gil (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie121 
19Steve Chainel (Fra) Bouygues Telecom119 
20Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Van Vliet EBH Elshof115 
21Kamil Ausbuher (Cze) Exe Jeans107 
22Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL Trans NV97 
23Marco Bianco (Ita) L Arcobaleno Carraro Team97 
24Laurent Colombatto (Fra) AC Besançon89 
25Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink - BeOne88 
26Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Projob79 
27Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned) Het Snelle Wiel79 
28Alessandro Gambino (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito75 
29Wilant van Gils (Ned) Pro Cycling Team 
30Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike73 
31Jonathan Lopez (Fra) VC La Pomme Marseille71 
32Fabio Ursi (Ita) Centro Sportivo Esercito65 
33Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower Mountainbike-Team64 
34Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor60 
35Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet-Colnago59 
36Ian Field (GBr) Hargroves Cycles/Trant/Next/GSI59 
37Jérôme Chevallier (Fra) AC Besançon58 
38Milan Barenyi (Svk)48 
39Johannes Sickmüller (Ger) Stevens Cyclocross Team Hamburg48 
40Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) KED Bianchi Berlin47 
41Pawel Szczepaniak (Pol) LKS Pom Strzelce Krajenskie41 
42Ivar Hartogs (Ned) 
43Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team38 
44David Derepas (Fra) UVCA Troyes37 
45Luca Damiani (Ita) Colavita Sutter Home37 
46Vaclav Metlicka (Svk) Team Král37 
47John Gadret (Fra) AG2R LA MONDIALE35 
48Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team35 
49Philipp Walsleben (Ger) Team BKCP-Power Plus32 
50Lukáš Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb - Projob Cycling Team30 
51Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)28 
52Sascha Wagner (Ger) Stevens Cyclocross Team Hamburg26 
53Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned) Sint Oedenrode25 
54Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)22 
55Marco Ponta (Ita)21 
56Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Us Domont Cyclisme20 
57Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Continental Team20 
58Martin Haring (Svk)17 
59Robert Glajza (Svk)17 
60Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls AS MB16 
61Zdenek Mlynár (Cze) Max Cursor13 
62Jody Crawforth (GBr) Arctic - Premier RT11 
63Julien Pion (Fra) Charvieu Chavagneux IC10 
64Jens Westergren (Swe)10 
65Clément Bourgoin (Fra) VC Rhodanien9 
66Tommy Nielsen (Den)7 
67René Lang (Swi) Delta Elite Team/VC Bützberg6 
68Joachim Parbo (Den) CCV Cyclo crosss Team5 
69Peter Presslauer (Aut) Team Volksbank4 
70Marek Canecky (Svk)3 
71Andreas Moser (Swi) Bürgis Cycling Team3 
72Gusty Bausch (Lux) LC Kayl2 
73Zoltan Tisza (Hun)2 
74Sascha Weber (Ger) FC Rheinland-Pfalz Flonheim1 
75Rafael Visinelli (Ita) Gruppo Sportivo Forestale1 


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