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Stybar solos to World Cup win

World champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) continued his early season domination with a victory today at the first round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Aigle, Switzerland. Stybar attacked halfway into the one-hour race and the 24-year-old Czech soloed to victory, remaining unbeaten this season with his sixth straight win.

"The form is really good," Stybar said. "Every race is difficult so I have to enjoy every win in this world champion's jersey because the form can fade. I still have some margin on my top form, though. I trained a lot during the last few weeks and now I'm going to recover from all those efforts in order to stay fresh."

Behind Stybar two young Belgians captured the remaining podium spots as Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) claimed second and third respectively.

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) won the sprint for fourth place ahead of surprisingly strong Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus). Four Belgians finished in the top five but they couldn't keep the Czech from winning on the course next to the UCI's headquarters in Aigle.

French champion Francis Mourey (FDJ) showed grit and fought his way to a solid sixth place, outsprinting Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb-Revor) and Steve Chainel (Bouygues Telecom).

Belgian champion Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) faded halfway into the race and finished in a disappointing ninth place. Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) was dropped from the lead group due to a mechanical issue with his chain and ended the day in 10th place.

The four American representatives were never in contention for a top 10 result. Jonathan Page (Planet Bike) was the highest placed finisher in 19th while Jeremy Powers (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) finished seconds later in 20th, having moved up six positions on the last lap. Jamey Driscoll (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) finished in 24th and US champion Timothy Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld) crossed the line in 26th, 3:02 down on Stybar.

The race turned out to be a tactical battle for the opening half hour. Both Nys and Stybar led a large group over the fast and technical course but no major gaps were created. After five laps of racing 11 men remained in the lead group, but Stybar would soon pounce as he noticed some of his key rivals dropping back to the rear of the paceline. The Czech powerhouse set a furious tempo and slowly but surely whittled down his opposition until he found himself alone in the lead on the seventh of 11 laps.

The world champion gained 20 seconds on a chase group comprised of Vantornout, teammates Pauwels and Dieter Vanthourenhout and former world champion, 24-year-old Niels Albert. The latter struggled early in the race to keep up with the leaders but he steadily improved each lap; it was only his third race of the season after being troubled with a knee injury in September.

Albert gapped the rest of the chasers on the penultimate lap to secure second place, but Stybar remained just out of reach in the finale. Stybar won the season's first World Cup with a nine-second advantage over Albert, while Pauwels completed the podium five seconds later.

Full Results
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team1:03:48
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:09
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:14
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor0:00:20
5Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus0:00:28
6Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ0:00:30
7Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
8Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom0:00:31
9Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet0:00:43
10Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:00:54
11Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team0:00:57
12Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank - Giant Offroad Team0:01:33
13Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus0:01:41
14Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus
15Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus0:02:33
16Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team0:02:39
17Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:02:40
18Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team0:02:41
19Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike
20Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com0:02:44
21Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)0:02:45
22Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:02:49
23Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS0:02:51
24James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com0:02:52
25Tijmen Eising (Ned) Sunweb-Revor0:02:53
26Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com0:03:02
27Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor0:03:24
28Marco Bianco (Ita)
29Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing
30Nicolas Bazin (Fra)0:03:26
31David Kášek (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor0:03:33
32Mitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus0:03:40
33Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Van Vliet EBH Elshof0:03:41
34Ian Field (GBr)0:03:42
35Jérome Chevallier (Fra)0:03:43
36Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team0:03:51
37Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)0:03:59
38Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole0:04:01
39Johannes Sickmueller (Ger)0:04:04
40Jirí Polnický (Cze) Sunweb - Revor0:04:11
41Pirmin Lang (Swi)0:04:12
42Florian Le Corre (Fra)0:04:13
43Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team-1lap
44Marco Ponta (Ita)
45Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)
46Fabio Ursi (Ita)
47Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor
48Kenneth Hansen (Den)
49Václav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls Aš Mb
50Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team-2laps
51David van der Poel (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus
52Mik Garrigan (Can)
53Andreas Moser (Swi)-3laps
54René Lang (Swi)
55Lukas Winterberg (Swi)
56Daniele Mensi (Ita)
57Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls Aš Mb
58Yves Corminboeuf (Swi)
59Laurent Colombatto (Fra)-4laps
60Xabier Garcia Irazola (Spa)
61Jonas Schau Guddal (Den)-5laps

UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup rankings after round 1
1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team80pts
2Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus70
3Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team65
4Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor60
5Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus55
6Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ50
7Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor48
8Steve Chainel (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom46
9Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet44
10Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team42
11Gerben De Knegt (Ned) Rabobank-Giant Off-Road Team40
12Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank - Giant Offroad Team39
13Enrico Franzoi (Ita) BKCP-Powerplus38
14Radomir Simunek Jr. (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus37
15Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus36
16Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco - Revor Cycling Team35
17Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team34
18Eddy van Ijzendoorn (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team33
19Jonathan Page (USA) Planet Bike32
20Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com31
21Patrick van Leeuwen (Ned)30
22Robert Gavenda (Svk) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team29
23Christian Heule (Swi) Champion System LBS28
24James Driscoll (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com27
25Tijmen Eising (Ned) Sunweb-Revor26
26Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com25
27Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor24
28Marco Bianco (Ita)23
29Marcel Wildhaber (Swi) Scott-Swisspower MTB-Racing22
30Nicolas Bazin (Fra)21
31David Kášek (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor20
32Mitchell Huenders (Ned) BKCP-Powerplus19
33Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Van Vliet EBH Elshof18
34Ian Field (GBr)17
35Jérome Chevallier (Fra)16
36Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team15
37Egoitz Murgoitio Rekalde (Spa)14
38Matthieu Boulo (Fra) Roubaix Lille Metropole13
39Johannes Sickmueller (Ger)12
40Jirí Polnický (Cze) Sunweb - Revor11
41Pirmin Lang (Swi)10
42Florian Le Corre (Fra)9
43Sacha Weber (Ger) Stevens Racing Team8
44Marco Ponta (Ita)7
45Mirko Tabacchi (Ita)6
46Fabio Ursi (Ita)5
47Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb - Revor4
48Kenneth Hansen (Den)3
49Václav Metlicka (Svk) Johnson Controls Aš Mb2
50Thijs Al (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Team1

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