Unlike the previous three years, Zdenek was unable to get on the podium in Koksijde. Sven Nys beat Kevin Pauwels in the sprint and Bart Aernouts beat out Styby for third.
Zdenek had a good start and he and Kevin Pauwels were at the front for much of the race. Sven Nys did well to come back after falling behind early and Bart Aernouts was also able to keep up with the leaders. The rest of the riders could forget any chance of winning halfway through the race.
The world champion regularly upped the tempo, but had a few problems in the sand. Nys went on the attack on the penultimate lap and Zdenek was unable to stay with him. Pauwels managed to match the pace and the two riders would eventually sprint for the victory and a cunning Nys emerged victorious.
Eventually, Styby would also be passed by a surprising Aernouts and as a result, he loses some ground on his rivals in the world cup standings. Pauwels remains the overall leader with 220 points, but Nys is just five points behind. Our Czech sits in third place with 195 points.
“I was able to ride through the sand well during the recon, so I started the race with confidence. I also had everything under control during the first lap, but then the mistakes began to pile up. I was really eager to put in a good performance, so this is a disappointment. Hopefully things will go better in Gieten tomorrow,” Zdenek said after the race.By on 26/11/2011