Stybar beats Albert in the mud

Nys held up by lapped rider in final lap

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team) won the fifth UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup round of the season in a mud bath in Igorre, Spain. The Czech champion blasted away from Belgian stars Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet - Colnago) in the last lap, with the latter failing to avoid a lapped rider in a decisive moment.

A hardly recognizable, mud-covered Stybar took his second World Cup win of the season, threatening World Champion and World Cup leader Albert in the overall classification of the World Cup.

"I didn't start with a plan to attack so early. I listened to my legs and early on, they're always doing pretty well," Stybar explained how he got to the front.

At the halfway point, Nys and Albert seemed stronger, but in the final lap Stybar launched an attack just before a steep ramp. "In the final laps, I found my best legs again. I certainly surprised Nys with my attack at that point. I didn't see what happened behind, but I heard something," said Stybar. "Next time it could be me, that's cross."

In the overall classification, Stybar closed in on Albert, and now he's only five points behind the World Champion. "Winning the World Cup? That's what motivates me. That's why I'm riding cyclo-cross," Stybar said.

Runner-up Albert saved his leading position in the World Cup with a second place today. The Belgian explained that his form was getting better after a few tough weeks. "It was better than the last few weeks when I didn't feel good racing. The first half of this week, I wasn't feeling good because of a hard training week here in Spain. During the second half, I got better. That lapped rider shouldn't have been there. The finale would have been completely different. Stybar had a gap before it happened, but suddenly we were a handful of seconds behind," Albert said.

Eventual third placed Nys saw his chances ruined after colliding with the lapped rider. The Belgian champion said that if the accident hadn't happened, he would have had a good chance for victory. "I surely would have reached the top and connected with Stybar, but I didn't expect that the lapped rider would not check what was happening behind him and step aside. Due to that crash, something broke inside of me, and I was unable to chase again," Nys said.

Further back, American Jonathan Page claimed his best World Cup result of the season with an eighth place, a result that will surely boost his confidence one week ahead of the US national championships.

How it unfolded

As predicted, rain had soaked the Basque country all week long, turning the Igorre course into a mud bath like last year. On race day, it stopped raining, and temperatures reached 15 degrees Celsius. Nine laps of the 2,640-metre course were to be covered on a lap that featured only 35 metres of elevation change per lap.

After a quiet opening lap, the debate was started by eventual winner Stybar and Sven Vanthourenhout. A few moments later, Vanthourenhout was unable to keep up with Stybar. Behind Stybar, Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team) was suddenly absent due to a wheel problem, but he had a go at being the most aggressive rider of the day by launching a strong comeback a little later.

Albert brought the chasers back within reach of Stybar, and after four laps, he bridged up to the Czech together with Nys. The three protagonists had a seven-second gap on a five-man, all-Belgian chase group - including Erwin Vervecken, Bart Aernouts (Rabobank), Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team), Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team) and a surprisingly strong Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team). The latter even launched a solo attempt to bridge up the leaders halfway through the race, but that was when Nys launched a first acceleration.

Albert experienced some difficulties keeping up with Nys and Stybar, but half a lap later, the three were back together, with Wellens thrown back into the chase group.

In the background, Vantornout was steadily moving up and with three laps to go, he bridged up to his teammate Sven Vanthourenhout and Wellens, together with Bart Aernouts and Dutchman Gerben De Knegt. For the win, it seemed to be too late as the leaders had half a minute on the first chasers.

One lap later, Vantornout dropped that gap down to 20 seconds with only Wellens able to keep up. In front, Albert tried to control the group, and the three leaders entered the last lap together, with Vantornout and Wellens still at 20 seconds.

Nys and Stybar fought for the best position as they hit the steep ramp. Eventually it was Stybar who blasted up the climb on the right, hopping off his bike near the top. Nys did the same on the left but the Belgian champion hadn't noticed the lapped rider, Dutchman Ivar Hartogs, who was walking up the climb on the left. Nys ran into the rider, lost his balance and more importantly, lost contact with Stybar. "I couldn't avoid him. There was only one track where it was possible to ride up until the top and that's where he walked," Nys said to Sporza.

Albert and Nys chased hard and got back to within five seconds, but then Nys eased off, settling for third place. Stybar held on to his lead and won ahead of Albert. A disappointed Nys crossed the line half a minute later. Vantornout claimed fourth place ahead of Wellens, Aernouts and De Knegt.

Page rode a good race in contention for a top-10 result throughout the entire race. In the last laps, he disposed of Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus) and Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas), with a ninth place was within his grasp. Going in the final lap, Page passed a tired Sven Vanthourenhout and grabbed a noteworthy eighth place at little over a minute down from winner Stybar.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team1:02:12 
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:06 
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago0:00:33 
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team0:00:43 
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:50 
6Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank0:00:59 
7Gerben De Knegt (Ned)0:01:03 
8Jonathan Page (USA)0:01:17 
9Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:19 
10Erwin Vervecken (Bel)0:01:22 
11Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team0:01:28 
12Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas0:01:46 
13Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:09 
14John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:31 
15Francis Mourey (Fra) Française Des Jeux0:02:49 
16Steve Chainel (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom0:03:13 
17Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:03:29 
18Marco Bianco (Ita)0:03:39 
19Mariusz Gil (Pol)0:03:53 
20Martin Zlamalik (Cze)0:04:09 
21Christian Heule (Swi)0:04:26 
22Jan Verstraeten (Bel)0:04:43 
23Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Continental Team Differdange0:05:09 
24Kamil Ausbuher (Cze)0:05:24 
25Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)0:05:26 
26Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)0:05:27 
27Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez (Spa) La - Rota Dos Moveis0:05:29 
28Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned)0:05:38 
29Arnaud Labbe (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom0:06:11 
30Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)0:06:22 
31Luca Damiani (Ita) Colavita / Sutter Home0:06:30 
32Joachim Parbo (Den)0:06:36 
33Alessandro Gambino (Ita)0:06:37 
34Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team0:06:55 
35David Seco Amundarain (Spa)0:07:11 
36Unai Yus Kerejeta (Spa)0:07:14 
37Daniel Ruiz Echeandia (Spa)0:07:51 
-1lapJaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)  
-1lapRobert Glajza (Svk)  
-1lapMartin Haring (Svk)  
-1lapIvar Hartogs (Ned)  
-3lapsDavid Lozano Riba (Spa)  
DNFPawel Szczepaniak (Pol)  
DNFEddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned)  
DNFMarek Canecky (Svk)  
DNFMatej Medved (Svk)  
DNFMilan Barenyi (Svk)  
DNSMartin Bina (Cze)  
DNSLukas Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling team  

World Cup standings after five rounds

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus370 pts
2Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team365 
3Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team279 
4Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago270 
5Francis Mourey (Fra) Française Des Jeux256 
6Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team236 
7Gerben De Knegt (Ned)228 
8Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank213 
9Enrico Franzoi (Ita) Liquigas203 
10Christian Heule (Swi)202 
11Erwin Vervecken (Bel)192 
12Martin Zlamalik (Cze)183 
13Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus176 
14Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team176 
15Steve Chainel (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom154 
16Mariusz Gil (Pol)153 
17Kamil Ausbuher (Cze)134 
18Thijs Van Amerongen (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team132 
19Marco Bianco (Ita)130 
20Martin Bina (Cze)129 
21Thijs Al (Ned)129 
22Jan Verstraeten (Bel)126 
23Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus125 
24Jonathan Page (USA)119 
25Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team119 
26Patrick Van Leeuwen (Ned)102 
27Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team93 
28Alessandro Gambino (Ita)93 
29Laurent Colombatto (Fra)89 
30Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Ned)88 
31Wilant Van Gils (Ned)74 
32John Gadret (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale72 
33Jonathan Lopez (Fra)71 
34Fabio Ursi (Ita)65 
35Marcel Wildhaber (Swi)64 
36Ondrej Bambula (Cze)60 
37Rob Peeters (Bel) Landbouwkrediet - Colnago59 
38Ian Field (GBr)59 
39Jérome Chevallier (Fra)58 
40Luca Damiani (Ita) Colavita / Sutter Home57 
41Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)54 
42Ivar Hartogs (Ned)51 
43Nicolas Bazin (Fra) Continental Team Differdange48 
44Milan Barenyi (Svk)48 
45Johannes Sickmueller (Ger)48 
46Christoph Pfingsten (Ger)47 
47Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez (Spa)43 
48Pawel Szczepaniak (Pol)41 
49David Derepas (Fra)37 
50Vaclav Metlicka (Svk)37 
51Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team35 
52Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus32 
53Lukas Kloucek (Cze) Sunweb Pro Job Cycling Team30 
54Robert Glajza (Svk)29 
55Martin Haring (Svk)28 
56Sascha Wagner (Ger)26 
57Isaac Suarez Fernandez (Spa)25 
58Roy Van Heeswijk (Ned)25 
59Constantino Zaballa Gutierrez (Spa) La - Rota Dos Moveis24 
60Joachim Parbo (Den)24 
61Arnaud Labbe (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom22 
62Marco Ponta (Ita)21 
63Jan Soetens (Bel) Revor-Jartazi Cyclingteam20 
64David Seco Amundarain (Spa)16 
65Vladimir Kyzivat (Cze)16 
66Unai Yus Kerejeta (Spa)15 
67Daniel Ruiz Echeandia (Spa)14 
68Jaroslav Kulhavy (Cze)13 
69Zdenek Mlynar (Cze)13 
70Jody Crawforth (GBr)11 
71Julien Pion (Fra)10 
72Jens Westergren (Swe)10 
73David Lozano Riba (Spa)9 
74Clément Bourgoin (Fra)9 
75Tommy Nielsen (Den)7 
76René Lang (Swi)6 
77Peter Presslauer (Aut)4 
78Marek Canecky (Svk)3 
79Andreas Moser (Swi)3 
80Gusty Bausch (Lux)2 
81Zoltan Tisza (Hun)2 
82Sascha Weber (Ger)1 
83Rafael Visinelli (Ita)1 
Back to top