Maldagem, Belgium – Just three days after claiming his World Champion stripes, Zdenek Stybar was back on the race course flaunting his new kit. Post-Worlds celebrations may have gotten the better of Stybar, however, who only managed to muster a seventh place.
Perhaps making up for his late season disappointments was Niels Albert, who took the Parkcross win after pulling out of the World Championship race midway through on Sunday. Albert has dominated for much of this season’s cyclocross calendar, including four World Cup wins, most recently in Hoogerheide. But an incident with a fan led to a broken rib and may have been the difference in his quest to defend as World champ and for the overall World Cup title. The win in Maldagem marks his 16th of the season.
Sven Nys led the Parkcross race up until the last lap, when he crashed and faded back to fourth. Albert took the win three seconds in front of Kevin Pauwels and another 13 in front of Bart Wellens (both Telenet-Fidea).
“I didn’t have any thoughts of revenge from Worlds,” said Albert. “When I did this race last year after winning the world championship, I was only 13th. I know what it feels like in your first race touring around the rainbow jersey.”
“Festivities here and there have taken their toll,” assented Stybar. “This jersey gives me a very special feeling, of course. The coming days are much more important. That’s why I’m going training seriously for a couple of days. I want to prove myself in some races.”
Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb Revor
Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Sunweb Revor
Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
Kenneth Van Compernolle (Bel) Sunweb Revor
Marco Bianco (Ita)
Kevin Cant (Bel) AVB Cycling Team
Stijn Penne (Bel) SDC – Rogelli Cycling Team
Gianni Denolf (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
Kenny Geluykens (Bel) Scott USA Cycling Team
Bert De Wispelaere (Bel) Wielerteam Morel & Zn – De Pinte