Zdenek is world champion once again! Nobody was able to remove Styby from his throne in the German town of St. Wendel. “One attack was apparently enough,” the happy world champion said after the race. “Yeah, I just had a really good day.”
Today was the day to salvage his season. Following the knee injury, Zdenek saw his chances of winning an overall series title dwindle and he decided to pull back from the cyclocross world for a month. “I could only salvage my season in St. Wendel, so I did everything in my power to win here.”
Our favorite didn't feel any stress. “No. I was almost stressed because I wasn't stressed. This morning I had to get mad at myself. 'Styby it's the world championship.' But I honestly felt nothing. I had already won earlier this week with my new contract.”
Zdenek had a good start and was first to ride into the frozen field. “I thought, 'I have to lose a few Belgians as soon as possible.' I was really scared to have five Belgians in my wheel after a lap or two. You never know when they'll suddenly decide to form a united front.”
Styby's first acceleration didn't produce a gap. A group of six looked as though they'd determine the race, until one Sven Nys forced the pace on the third lap. Zdenek was alert and local favorite Philipp Walsleben joined the 2005 world champion.
After a good half hour Styby was able to shake off his last rival. “Nys asked if I wanted to take over. I thought, no problem, but it'd have to be fast. I really wanted to test and see how strong he was. But when I suddenly looked back, Nys was nowhere to be found.”
Zdenek didn't hesitate, and gained more than a 20 second lead in just one lap. After that, Nys had a flat and the championship was well within Styby's reach. “But my flat is no excuse. I was very strong today, but someone else was stronger,” Nys honestly admitted.
The laps flew by, and after a little over an hour, Zdenek had won his second world title. “And I'm unbelievable happy with it. They say becoming world champion for the first time is difficult and that the second time is a bit easier, but I suffered a lot today.”
Nys won the silver medal, while bronze went to Pauwels after an exciting duel with Francis Mourey, while Walsleben completed the top five. Co-favorite Niels Albert flatted during the first lap and lost any chance of victory.
Results 1. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) 01:06:37 2. Sven Nys (Bel) + 18 3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) + 1:15 4. Francis Mourey (Fra) + 1:16 5. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) + 1:18 6. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) + 1:23 7. Marco Aurelio Fontana (Ita) + 1:51 8. Bart Wellens (Bel)+ 2:01 9. Christian Heule (Swi) + 2:03 10. Tom Meeusen (Bel) + 2:03By Niels on 30/01/2011