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Stybar regains confidence with fifth place finish in Namur

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Zdenek Stybar (QuickStep) covered in mud.

Zdenek Stybar (QuickStep) covered in mud. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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World champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step)

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step) (Image credit: Bert Geerts/

Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step) is happy again after finishing fifth in Sunday's World Cup cyclo-cross race. After declaring himself “ashamed” of his poor showing Saturday in Essen, he then proceeded to “cycle the doubts away” the next day.

He finished only fourteenth in Essen, and afterwards said “Shamed about my race today” and that “I have no explanation about my results.”

However, things went much better in the mud in Namur, and Stybar regained his confidence as the reigning world champion finished only 32 seconds down on winner Sven Nys.

The Czech purposely held back the first part of the race, making his move on the sixth lap. Catching the leaders, he stayed with them and even launched an attack of his own, which his rivals quickly countered.

He faded on the last lap but was not disappointed with the race. “The doubts are gone,” he said on his website. “I'm happy that I can race at my normal level. I shouldn't think about skipping any 'crosses now.

“Yesterday?  That must have just been a bad day.”

The world champion went on optimistically, “I think I'm back on track now and will get a little better with each race. That's what I hope at least. In any case I have my self-confidence back.  I'm already looking forward to Friday's race in Diegem.”

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