Zdenek Stybar came out victorious after a battle royal with Sven Nys – to claim the 2014 elite men’s UCI Cyclocross World Championship in Hoogerhiede today.
For the final four laps, the two riders are out in front and locked in battle for first place, while Lars van der Haar, Klaas Vantornout and Kevin Pauwels fought each other in earnest for the final spot on the podium.
Indeed, today’s race truly became a test of "mano y mano", with Stybar demonstrating the greater amount of strength between the two, as he powered his way clear of Nys, after the Belgian rider found himself snagged in a muddy section.
From there, Stybar opened up a seven-second lead over Nys that the Belgian couldn’t close.
Stybar crossed the finish line twelve seconds ahead of Nys, while Pauwels followed forty seconds later to claim the third spot on the podium.
Despite only competing in six cyclocross races this season, the now full -time road racer, had this to say after his victory.
“From the beginning I thought, ‘Let’s make the race hard.’ I had nothing to lose.” “It was a really, really very hard race. I crashed one time and thought, ‘Now it’s over.’”
Alongside of Stybar and Nys, the start of today’s race saw some willing pace-setters like Phillip Mourey, Rob Peeters and Thijs van Amerongen. However, by the end of the first lap, the dominating performances of Stybar and Nys started to take form.
From that point on, the main field was left to struggle amongst themselves to try and stay in contention for a medal.
Race favorite, Niels Albert, experienced yet another terrible start, and the Belgian rider never managed to get beyond mid-pack in today’s race.
Top 25 Finishers
1 Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic) 1:05:29 2 Sven Nys (Belgium) 0:00:12 3 Kevin Pauwels (Belgium) 0:00:40 4 Klaas Vantornout (Belgium) 0:00:59 5 Tom Meeusen (Belgium) 0:01:07 6 Lars Van Der Haar (Netherlands) 0:01:22 7 Rob Peeters (Belgium) 0:01:43 8 Francis Mourey (France) 0:01:53 9 Radomir Simunek (Czech Republic) 0:02:04 10 Wietse Bosmans (Belgium) 0:02:11 11 Philipp Walsleben (Germany) 0:02:27 12 Corne Van Kessel (Netherlands) 0:02:29 13 Enrico Franzoi (Italy) 14 Julien Taramarcaz (Switzerland) 15 Nicolas Bazin (France) 0:02:42 16 Thijs Van Amerongen (Netherlands) 0:02:45 17 Marcel Wildhaber (Switzerland) 0:02:50 18 Jonathan Page (United States Of America) 0:02:55 19 Eddy Van Ijzendoorn (Netherlands) 0:03:0320 Niels Albert (Belgium) 0:03:06 21 Steve Chainel (France) 0:03:19 22 Sascha Weber (Germany) 0:03:35 23 Niels Wubben (Netherlands) 0:03:52 24 Jeremy Powers (United States Of America) 0:04:06 25 Arnaud Grand (Switzerland) 0:04:15
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