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Stybar sizzles in Superprestige series start

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World Champion Zdenek Stybar

World Champion Zdenek Stybar (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) and Bart Aernouts (Rabo - Giant Offroad Team) at the head of the race.

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) and Bart Aernouts (Rabo - Giant Offroad Team) at the head of the race. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Plenty of specators were on hand for the Superprestige Series opener in Ruddervoorde, Belgium.

Plenty of specators were on hand for the Superprestige Series opener in Ruddervoorde, Belgium. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Kevin Pauwels (Telenet - Fidea) runs the sand pit.

Kevin Pauwels (Telenet - Fidea) runs the sand pit. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) had time to celebrate his victory ahead of runner-up Bart Aernouts (Rabo - Giant Offroad Team).

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) had time to celebrate his victory ahead of runner-up Bart Aernouts (Rabo - Giant Offroad Team). (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) leads Bart Aernouts (Rabo - Giant Offroad Team).

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet - Fidea) leads Bart Aernouts (Rabo - Giant Offroad Team). (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Radomir Simunek (BKCP - Powerplus) would finish the day in 20th place.

Radomir Simunek (BKCP - Powerplus) would finish the day in 20th place. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) runs the stairs.

Niels Albert (BKCP - Powerplus) runs the stairs. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Belgian national champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) en route to a third place finish.

Belgian national champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) en route to a third place finish. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) celebrates on the podium in Ruddervoorde

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) celebrates on the podium in Ruddervoorde (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stybar cracks open the champagne.

Stybar cracks open the champagne. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The Superprestige podium in Ruddervoorde

The Superprestige podium in Ruddervoorde (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys could manage only third in Ruddervoorde.

Sven Nys could manage only third in Ruddervoorde. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) chases with Vanthourenhout.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) chases with Vanthourenhout. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The sun shines on Zdenek Stybar

The sun shines on Zdenek Stybar (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Vanthourenhout proved to be one of the best Belgians in the race

Sven Vanthourenhout proved to be one of the best Belgians in the race (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) rehydrates after a hot race.

Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) rehydrates after a hot race. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) looking not so pleased with third.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) looking not so pleased with third. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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World Champion Zdenek Stybar won the Superprestige opener in Ruddervoorde

World Champion Zdenek Stybar won the Superprestige opener in Ruddervoorde (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet - Fidea) finished fifth in the Superprestige Series opener.

Bart Wellens (Telenet - Fidea) finished fifth in the Superprestige Series opener. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Zdenek Stybar and Bart Aernouts left the rest of the field behind

Zdenek Stybar and Bart Aernouts left the rest of the field behind (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys took up the chase, but could not close the gap

Sven Nys took up the chase, but could not close the gap (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Aernouts attacked Stybar on the second to last lap, but could not hold the pace.

Bart Aernouts attacked Stybar on the second to last lap, but could not hold the pace. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb) fought back to finish 9th after a first-lap crash.

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb) fought back to finish 9th after a first-lap crash. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant Offroad) pushes the pace at the front.

Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant Offroad) pushes the pace at the front. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The weather was a bit too nice for cyclo-cross

The weather was a bit too nice for cyclo-cross (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant Offroad) put in a great effort

Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant Offroad) put in a great effort (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) rode away on the final lap to win.

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) rode away on the final lap to win. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) had no trouble with the warm weather in Ruddervoorde

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) had no trouble with the warm weather in Ruddervoorde (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) claimed his fourth victory of the season in Ruddervoorde

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) claimed his fourth victory of the season in Ruddervoorde (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Stybar took the early lead in Ruddervoorde.

Stybar took the early lead in Ruddervoorde. (Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Fidea-Telenet) continued his early-season winning streak with a fourth victory in Ruddervoorde, Belgium, where he grabbed the Superprestige Series opener.

In sunny and dry weather conditions the Czech cyclo-cross star didn’t waste any time in distancing his competition. Only a surprisingly strong Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant) was able to keep up with the world champion on the fast but technical course.

The Czech-Belgian duo didn’t allow any riders to return to the front and soon it was clear they would battle for the victory. Aernouts went all-in during the penultimate lap, but once Stybar bridged back up the Belgian’s race was over.

During the last lap Stybar gapped Aernouts in the technical section and rode on towards his fourth victory of the season. Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) bounced back from last week’s off-day in Namur to win the battle for the remaining podium spot ahead of Steve Chainel (Bouygues Telecom) and Bart Wellens (Fidea-Telenet).

Local hero Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Revor) was fifth ahead of Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), who rode a good comeback race in Ruddervoorde.

"I'm a bit surprised that I could win today because I have a hard week of training behind me," said Stybar. "It's the first fast course I've ridden on this year." The Czech was particularly pleased by the condition of his world champion's jersey. "It was sunny and the jersey is still nice and white. It's not dirty so we don't have to do a lot of washing this evening. What more can one ask for," he joked.

A impressive field of 54 riders lined up in Ruddervoorde and among them was Niels Albert who made his return from injury. Clearly Albert had no intention of holding back as he took the hole shot in Ruddervoorde.

At that same time local rider Klaas Vantornout had hopes for a win in front of his home crowd ruined when he was forced into the barriers. Meanwhile, Stybar took the lead on the twisting course. Teammates Aernouts and Gerben de Knegt marked the Czech's wheel and suddenly found themselves distancing the rest of the field.

De Knegt quickly dropped back but Aernouts and Stybar built a 12 seconds lead after one lap. The duo kept extending their advantage during the next lap and gathered twenty seconds on a group led by Martin Zlamalik (Sunweb-Revor).

Belgian champion Sven Nys accelerated during the third lap and he got back to fifteen seconds from the leaders. "Then one of my spokes cracked and my wheel was out of balance," Nys said. He switched bikes and ended up riding in a chase group with Sven Vanthorenhout (Sunweb-Revor) and Albert.

The trio didn't get any closer on the leaders and during the fifth lap Bart Wellens, Kevin Pauwels, De Knegt and Chainel joined the first chasers at half a minute from Stybar and Aernouts. One lap later De Knegt was confronted with a broken derailleur right after the pit during the sand pit, forcing the Dutchman to pull out of the race. With four laps to go Nys went well through the sand and forced the other chasers to play their cards. Chainel brought everybody but Pauwels back with Nys.

Once Nys was caught, Wellens pleased his fans when he led the chase group. His efforts caused the chase group to split. Albert and Sven Vanthourenhout got dropped but once Wellens noticed Nys and Chainel weren't planning to share the work in front the five chasers got back together. Meanwhile Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) bounced back from a bad start and the American got back into the second chase group with Zlamalik and Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus) at twenty seconds from the Nys-group, riding for ninth place.

In front, Stybar and Aernouts worked well together to maintain a lead of thirty to forty seconds. During the penultimate lap Aernouts powered through the long sand pit on his bike while the Czech dismounted and ran the last half, putting the world champion on the defensive. "He tried really well and he actually surprised me as I couldn't ride through the sand," Stybar said of Aernouts. "Then he quickly had a big gap which wasn't easy to close down.

"Once I was back in front I went as fast as possible to the technical part of the course. I figured it was the ideal moment to attack because he would be tired," Stybar said. He was right, and the reigning world champion went on to win with a lead of five seconds on a content Aernouts. Much further back Nys made it a long sprint and he hit the home straight with a minor gap over Chainel, grabbing third place. "Once I realized I wouldn't come back to the leaders I focused on third place. That succeeded so I'm happy," Nys declared.

The battle for ninth place turned into a mass-event as Page, Zlamalik and Dieter Vanthourenhout were joined by Vantornout, Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea), Enrico Franzoi and Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) and Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea). "I easily distanced the others in the last lap. That showed how much I had left," Vantornout stated after the race.

Page finished at the back of this group in fifteenth place. "There was one lap too much for me today. Zlamalik and Vanthourenhout didn't want to ride and once we were caught it was clear the others were more fresh than me," Page said.

The Superprestige series will continue on October 31 in Zonhoven, Belgium.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:59:38
2Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabo - Giant Offroad Team.0:00:05
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:47
4Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom0:00:48
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:00:54
6Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Revor0:00:59
7Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:02
8Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:01:22
9Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Revor0:01:27
10Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:01:36
11Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:40
12Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus
13Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
14Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
15Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike
16Martin Zlamalik (Cze) Sunweb Revor0:01:57
17Christian Heule (Swi) Team Zeitfahren La Brevine0:02:13
18Jan Verstraeten (Bel) KDL-Trans0:02:23
19Françis Mourey (Fra) Francaise des Jeux0:02:34
20Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus0:02:55
21Eddy van IJzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:02:56
22Tom Van den Bosch (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team
23Marco Bianco (Ita)
24Marcel Wildhaber (Swi)
25Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team
26Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)0:03:10
27Nicolas Bazin (Fra)0:03:13
28Ian Field (GBr)0:03:22
29Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
30Ben Berden (Bel) Qin Cycling Team0:03:27
31Romain Villa (Fra)
32Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:03:40
33Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb Revor0:04:15
34Kevin Cant (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace - cycling team0:04:27
35Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team0:04:31
36Tom Vannoppen (Bel) Team Mooserwirt Ridley Bike's0:04:35
37Rudi van Houts (Ned)0:04:42
38Florian Le Corre (Fra)0:05:05
39Steven De Decker (Bel) Flemish Cycling Projects0:05:35
40Mitchell Huenders (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:05:38
41Gianni Denolf (Bel) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team0:05:42
42Rikke Dijkxhoorn (Ned)0:05:50
43Björn Rondelez (Bel) Lingier Versluys Beachbikers Team Vzw0:06:03
44Tim Van Nuffel (Bel) Van Goethem - Prorace - cycling team0:06:17
45Sascha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team0:06:28
46 -2 lapsWilant van Gils (Ned)
47 -4 lapsBram Schmitz (Ned)
48 -6 lapsCaballero Candelas (Spa)

Superprestige standings after round 1
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team15pts
2Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabo - Giant Offroad Team.14
3Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet13
4Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom12
5Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team11
6Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Revor10
7Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus9
8Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team8
9Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Revor7
10Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team6
11Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus5
12Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus4
13Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus3
14Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team2
15Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike1

 

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