Second in Lille again

Second in Lille again

Just like last year, Zdenek finished second in the Krawatencross in Lille. Our world champion was nipped at the line by teammate Kevin Pauwels. “Too bad,” he said after the race. “I made a small mistake in the sprint and maybe that's why I lost.”

The world champion had a very busy week. Following all the celebrations, TV appearances and the cross in Maldegem, it was time to try to get a win in the second to last GVA Trophy race this season.

Sven Nys had the best start and was the first rider to get to the sand. Zdenek was alert, moved up and resolutely took the lead for the first two laps. The intermediate sprint at the end of that second lap was a bonus for our champion and Pauwels took a point away from Nys.

Niels Albert and Bart Wellens also found their way to the front and a lead group of five riders formed. Nys and Pauwels made the best impression, but were unable to gain a significant gap, and Zdenek's accelerations were also repeatedly diffused.

In the finale, Wellens and Albert tried in vain to launch a decisive attack and the five leaders ended up sprinting for the win. Styby started the sprint early and looked to have sealed the win, until Pauwels made a final surge to pass our Czech and take the victory.

“I'm really pleased I was in contention for the victory,” Zdenek said after the race. “But I should have won the sprint. I sat back down 50 meters from the line and saw that Nys wasn't coming. Kevin? I didn't see him at all. A really strong move from him.”

Styby, who remains third in the overall classification behind Nys and Pauwels, was pleased with his performance, despite falling short of victory. “It must have been a really fun race for the crowd. It was really tactical because of the wind. And there are still some nice crosses to come.”

By on 06/02/2011