The countdown has begun. Today Styby put on his beloved rainbow jersey for the second to last time ahead of the cross in Zonnebeke. Our favorite earned a respectable second place finish, as teammate Rob Peeters claimed the win.
“A nice muddy course,” Zdenek said before the race. “I'm really looking forward to suffering again even though my legs aren't super. I still feel Thursday's seven hour training ride is still in my legs a little. But I'd really like to win either today or tomorrow.”
And he may have succeeded today if he had a better start. While Rob Peeters and Sven Nys amused themselves on their playground around the castle in Zonnebeke, our favorite struggled early in the race. That was due to the transition from the road to the field. “I made a lot of technical mistakes.”
After a good half hour, the world champion finally made it to the front of the race. But by then the cream had risen to the top. Peeters was able to get away from Nys and Klaas Vantornout and went in search of his first victory of the season. Styby and Nys were able to drop Vantornout and after that it was a game of poker.
“Nys and I kept getting closer to Rob,” Zdenek said. “So I decided to ease off and give Rob the victory.” And his plan worked as Peeters crossed the line first, after a little over an hour. “And then I crossed the line second, ahead of Nys. I can live with that.”
The conclusion? “It could be better. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning, but that's normal after ten days in Mallorca. But I got better with each lap. Now I hope I can compete for the win tomorrow in Hoogerheide. I'm especially going to try to enjoy my world champion jersey because who knows, it may be the last time I pull it on in my career.”By on 22/01/2011