Sven Nys has won the Koppenberg cross, a cyclocross classic, for the eighth time in his career. Zdenek didn't have a great day and missed the podium, but does retain his lead in the GvA Trophy standings.
“A world of difference,” was the opinion before the start. Yesterday it was eating sand in Zonhoven and today it's sliding through the Oudenaarde mud. The rain that fell the last few days made the course even more difficult than it already was. “But the spectators will cheer us on.”
The race began at 3:00pm and the first climb of the Koppenberg soon followed. Marco Bianco went on the attack early, but fell back just as Jonathan Page. Nys took over the lead and put our Czech under pressure just as he did the day before in Zonhoven.
Nys looked like the man to beat after the first lap as the Belgian champion had an eight second lead over the rest of the field. Niels Albert, who had a bad start, went after Nys on his own after Styby hit the ground twice.
“My rear break didn't work after my second fall so I kept getting passed,” he said after the race. Klaas Vantournout and Kevin Pauwels, the two biggest threats to Styby's lead in the GvA Trophy standings distanced themselves from Zdenek who was now joined by Gerben de Knegt.
Nys didn't wait. He played a bit of a game with Albert, but would eventually build up a large gap. The BKCP leader couldn't keep up and would eventually finish more than a minute back. Zdenek on the other hand got a second wind and passed Vantournout to finish fourth.
Despite a flat on the last lap Nys maintained his lead and won Oudenaarde for the eighth time. Albert managed to finish second, ahead of Pauwels and Zdenek. “No I'm not very pleased with this,” a dejected Styby said. “But I was able to minimize the damage.”
“Nys was really strong again. He must have been flying. He is ten years older than us and can recover faster. But that's no excuse. It must certainly have been a spectacle for the fans. My broken break probably cost me about 40 seconds, but there was no win in the cards for me today.”
Zdenek leaves Tuesday for an eight day trip to Mallorca. “To relax, but to train as well of course. I think we have a fun group. Petr Dlask, Gerben de Knegt, Kevin Pauwels and Radomir Simunek will all be there as well. And STYBY TV will be there too to file reports!”By on 02/11/2010