Niels Albert put an end to the busy holiday period in Tervuren. The BKCP leader held off Sven Nys for the win and is co-favorite for the Belgian championship next week. Zdenek made too many mistakes and finished in seventh.
“Very tired,” is how our world champion was feeling before the start. “The race in Baal yesterday is still in my legs,” he admitted. But the thought of his win here last year had to give him some confidence, even if the course was completely different this time around. “So I don't really know what to expect today.”
Eddy van Ijzendoorn had the best start and rolled out the red carpet for Rob Peeters. Zdenek's teammate profited from the invisibility of the big men and in no time had built up a twenty second lead. Niels Albert, Sven Nys and our champion didn't hunt down Peeters until halfway through the race.
Albert shook off his two closest competitors and took over the lead by himself. Styby initially tried to come back, but gave up hope of a new victory after a bike change. “I made a lot of mistakes and lost concentration. It's a shame because I wanted to end this period with a victory.”
Nys went on the chase alone, but was unable to catch a stronger Albert who, just as in Diegem and Loenhout, was first to cross the finish line. He is the co-favorite for the Belgian tri-color along with defending champion Nys. Tom Meeusen completed the podium while Styby finished back in seventh.
“I can actually be pretty pleased with my Christmas,” Zdenek said with a smile. “I was on the podium four times and even won in Bredene. Now I hope to recover well for a few days and be ready for the Czech championship. I hope to show my rainbow jersey there and win again.”
Check out the latest episode of STYBY TV for an in-depth reaction (Dutch only).