No podium spot today, but a good race nonetheless. Zdenek just missed the podium after a very long solo in the last world cup race of the season in Hoogerheide. Both the race win and the overall world cup victory went to Niels Albert.
It had been awhile since Zdenek competed in his last world cup race in Koksijde. And did he want to win? “It would be fantastic to go off to St. Wendel with some extra confidence. But I'm going to enjoy it too. This could be my last day in the rainbow jersey.”
The course in the Netherlands was a muddy one, just like yesterday in Zonnebeke. But it wasn't a problem for Styby, who unlike yesterday, got off to a good start and immediately went on the attack. He built up a 20 second lead after the first lap.
The race looked like it was going to be a one-man show as Klaas Vantornout and Kevin Pauwels were unable to bridge the gap to the world champion. But after a good half hour, Styby began to fade, and our Czech quickly lost his lead.
“The legs were a bit empty,” he explained. “Because of that I made one mistake after the other.” And that was evident when Styby slipped in a left turn and a group with Albert, Pauwels and Vantornout quickly caught up.
Albert and Pauwels then fought it out for the win, while Styby lost out to Nys in the battle for third. So there was no podium place for Zdenek in his last race in the rainbow jersey. “It's a shame, but I'm never good in Hoogerheide. A week later I am though. Hopefully that will be the case again.”
“At first I felt like Mallorca was out of my legs, but that feeling changed as the race progressed. I'm really looking forward to the world championships in Germany and hope to extend my title. That would save my season.”