Sven Nys has won his own GP yet again. The Belgian Champion was the best in the GVA race in Baal on New Year's Day. Our Styby finished in second.
The riders didn't have it easy on the first day of the new year. A rain shower turned the course into one big pool of mud. Nys was, as to be expected, the big favorite. The Landbouwkrediet man was also in search of the overall GVA Trophy lead held by Kevin Pauwels.
Lars Boom also started the race. It would be his last cross in Belgium this winter as he's ending his cyclocross season with next week's Dutch championships. Success at the GP Sven Nys would elude the Dutch champion who had a good start, but was forced to abandon the race after a hard crash during the first lap.
Zdenek took over and gained a small gap on the rest of the field. It didn't last long though as the hometown favorite came to the front during the second lap. Niels Albert jumped up to third, but couldn't keep up with the leaders. The race was a two-man battle between Nys and Styby who made things difficult for one another through the final stages of the race.
During the last lap our world champion resolutely took the lead and tried to keep Nys from a tenth victory. And for awhile it looked as though he would succeed. “But all of a sudden I rode into a bad line and Nys took over again. After the sharp turn that followed I couldn't catch him,” Zdenek said after the race.
“The most important thing is that I was able to fight for the win. I felt really good today. I also enjoyed the atmosphere during the race itself. The fans don't stay home to celebrate the new year, but come out to support us. I also have to thank the Sven Nys supporters because they were sporting as always.”
Styby has stood on the podium after every race since making his comeback. “But am I at my best? I don't know. I hope not because I really want to be Czech champion and extend my world title.”
Albert seized third place ahead of Klaas Vantornout and Bart Wellens. Kevin Pauwels finished back in seventh and lost his lead in the overall classification.