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Stybar racks up World Cup win in sprint battle

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The Koksijde World Cup came down to a sprint of five.

The Koksijde World Cup came down to a sprint of five.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Fidea Telenet) out-sprints Sven Nys for the World Cup win in Koksijde

Zdenek Stybar (Fidea Telenet) out-sprints Sven Nys for the World Cup win in Koksijde
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) sprints to the win in Koksijde.

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) sprints to the win in Koksijde.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The Koksijde podium: Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb Projob)

The Koksijde podium: Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Colnago), Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea) and Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb Projob)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The podium in Koksijde: Sven Nys, Zdenek Stybar and Klaas Vantornout

The podium in Koksijde: Sven Nys, Zdenek Stybar and Klaas Vantornout
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens supporters were out en masse for his return.

Bart Wellens supporters were out en masse for his return.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The mass of riders run up the dunes in Koksijde.

The mass of riders run up the dunes in Koksijde.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet Colnago) leads in the sand.

Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet Colnago) leads in the sand.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens on the run.

Bart Wellens on the run.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Jonathan Page (Planet Bike)

Jonathan Page (Planet Bike)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea)

Zdenek Stybar (Telenet Fidea)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb Projob)

Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb Projob)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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The lead group hikes through the sand in Koksijde.

The lead group hikes through the sand in Koksijde.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar gets a push from a supporter after his World Cup win in Koksijde.

Zdenek Stybar gets a push from a supporter after his World Cup win in Koksijde.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Belgian champion Sven Nys rides the sand in Koksijde

Belgian champion Sven Nys rides the sand in Koksijde
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens (Telenet Fidea) made his return to racing in Koksijde, finishing 15th.

Bart Wellens (Telenet Fidea) made his return to racing in Koksijde, finishing 15th.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas)

Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas)
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Niels Albert on the run in Koksijde.

Niels Albert on the run in Koksijde.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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It's a steep one...

It's a steep one...
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Erwin Vervecken rides down the sandy hill.

Erwin Vervecken rides down the sandy hill.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Aernouts (Rabobank) chases up the dune.

Bart Aernouts (Rabobank) chases up the dune.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Niels Albert just didn't have it today.

Niels Albert just didn't have it today.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Bart Wellens feeling the pain of World Cup 'cross.

Bart Wellens feeling the pain of World Cup 'cross.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)
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Zdenek Stybar in the lead.

Zdenek Stybar in the lead.
(Image credit: www.ispaphoto.com)

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.

 

Results
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 ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida
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) ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida
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 ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida74
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) ZZPR.nl-Destil-Merida41
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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