Klaas Vantornout emerged victorious in the cross in Eeklo. The Sunweb rider rode away early in the race and gained a half minute on a sick Styby. “I didn't think I'd be on the podium today,” Zdenek sighed.
The majority of the cyclocross peloton was racing in Holland – where Bart Wellens won – so just a handful of top riders were in Eeklo. One rider who was there was Kevin Pauwels, who was clearly saving his energy. That's because Zdenek's teammate will fight it out with Sven Nys tomorrow in Oostmalle for the overall title in the GVA Trophy.
“I don't think I have much to gain there,” Zdenek said after Eeklo. “A lot has to happen for me to be a threat to Nys and Pauwels. I'm 12 points behind because I didn't race in Essen. That's probably too much. And I'm also a bit sick.”
His illness wasn't obvious during the race however. Our favorite rode with Dieter Vanthourenhout in pursuit of Vantornout, who was flying from the first lap. “Klaas was stronger than us but I don't think I did so bad with this half-sick body.”
After an hour Vantornout was able to celebrate his victory and Zdenek took second. “I can live with that.. I really didn't expect to be here,” our favorite said. He'll finish off the season tomorrow in Oostmalle. “But don't forget the Indoor cross this Wednesday in Hasselt.”