Podium in Heerlen

Podium in Heerlen

The day after finishing fifth in Middelkerke, Zdenek was back on the podium with a third place finish in the Dutch town of Heerlen. Kevin Pauwels emerged victorious after a tough race by edging out Philipp Walsleben in a sprint.

A lot of big names did not start the race in southern Holland. Niels Albert, Sven Nys and Bart Wellens all chose the Kleicross in Lebbeke, Belgium above the mud in Dutch Limburg.

Walsleben let his presence be known and was first into the field. The German quickly built up a 20 second lead and it looked like the race would turn into a one-man show. But a group of five was able to catch him later in the race.

Our world champion made the best impression and forced the pace, but it was hard to gain much ground until the last lap. Zdenek went into the final straightaway with Pauwels and Walsleben and a final sprint would determine the winner.

Zdenek looked as though he had used up too much energy forcing the pace earlier in the race and was unable to pass his two rivals. Pauwels won his fifth race of the season, with Walsleben on his wheel.

“Too bad Kevin didn't show much initiative,” a somewhat disappointed Styby said after the race. “He put everything on the sprint. Too bad, but that's sport.” Next week Styby will race in Eeklo and Oostmalle, the final cyclocross races of the season.

By on 14/02/2011