Clash of the Titans: Štybar Outduels Nys in a Worlds Thriller – World Championships 2014 Full Report, Results

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Stybar taking the win with Nys behind at UCI Cyclocross World Championships. © Thomas Van Bracht

Stybar taking the win with Nys behind at UCI Cyclocross World Championships. © Thomas Van Bracht

Hoogerheide, Netherlands – Heading into today’s World Championship race, reigning World Champion Sven Nys told reporters that the rider he was most worried about was ’crosser-cum-roadie Zdeněk Štybar, perhaps remembering the power of Štybar in 2011, when the Czech rider bested the Belgian at the world championships in St. Wendel. That prediction proved accurate, as the two world champions gave us one of the most exciting championships of years past, establishing an early lead, shedding the rest of the best, and then trading heavy blows back and forth for the duration of the race.

With three to go, the two racers looked like late-round boxers, evenly matched, and it became clear that this would be either a race won by errors, or by a sprint. A crash by Štybar looked to make the decision, as Nys capitalized and opened a significant gap, only to lose his advantage when his bike disappeared from him on a tight 180-degree turn.

In the bell lap, Štybar threw a final attack, and Nys bobbled twice in his bid to respond, forced off his bike as Štybar accelerated away. Though Nys put on a display of technical mastery as he chased Štybar, there was not enough trail left to catch the impressive, powerful Czech – who only decided to race the event in the past week – as he stormed his way to his third World Cyclocross Championship.

“It was a very hard race,” said Štybar. “I crashed one time and I thought it was over. From the beginning I thought, let’s race hard, I have nothing to lose. Now I have to go, I have to give it everything. I was fourth line, I had to brake full gas on the start and come back, which was a big effort for me. We were three, then two and then I thought we were just going to fight for the podium.”

“It’s different when you have pressure, when you’re a full-time cyclocrosser. But for me, I was just coming to cyclocross to do one race. I didn’t feel like it was a World Championship, though I enjoyed the crowds. I was just looking at it like a race.”

And how does this win stack up to his previous two? “The first one, there’s nothing to compare it to, it was in front of my home crowd in Czech Republic. This is really very nice,” he said, noting the importance of a third title, “I really appreciate being World Champion.”

“I thought it was possible,” said Nys, “two or three laps before the end. I pushed a little bit harder and then I saw that he had trouble following, and that it was possible to win. Then I made small a mistake after the tree where he crashed and got on my wheel. I waited half a lap, recovered a bit, and hoped that I could do something in the last lap.”

The Space Behind the Leaders

The race for bronze was between Lars van der Haar, Klaas Vantornout, and Kevin Pauwels, with Pauwels taking the podium as Vantornout shed Van der Haar for fourth after the three fought it out for nearly the entirety of the hour long race.

Page leading the American charge at the UCI World Championships of Cyclocross. © Thomas Van Bracht

Page leading the American charge at the UCI World Championships of Cyclocross. © Thomas Van Bracht

On the American side, Jonathan Page took top honors with 18th place, while current US National Champion Jeremy Powers took 24th. Ryan Trebon, despite receiving a deep gash on his calf in the first lap,  finished in 31st but would likely require stitches. Krughoff rolled in at 48th, right in front of Canadian Mike Garrigan. Tim Johnson, with a possible broken arm, and Zach McDonald, both did not finish the race.

“I got off of the starting straight OK,” said Page, “but then a couple of guys came down in the first mud pit. So I thought, OK, stay calm and go again. Then, someone crashed on the bridge and I got caught behind one of the Czech guys, but I felt good so I went on. I came back strong and picked off guys one by one.”

Read on for a full blow-by-blow report of the race.

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18 comments
Michael Krehlik
Michael Krehlik

Well say what you want about the comments, JPs response was pure class. I was taught you don't diss people who can run circles around you, but does that go out the window when you become a commentator? A question each must answer for themselves

Cyclocross Magazine
Cyclocross Magazine

Michael Krehlik, just click the second link. You can read or listen to them there.

PB Creative
PB Creative

Revenge is a dish best served cold and muddy.

craigmacintyre
craigmacintyre

If we could somehow see the power files from these guys that would be cool.  Everyone keeps talking about the fact that Stybar was stronger but I didn't see that.  I think that he had more punch but in the end he made the fewest mistakes and that was the difference.  Every time he turned the screws, Nys responded.  I was very surprised to see the old man hanging on and pressuring ... impressive display by both.

ErikVoldengen
ErikVoldengen

Again, another solid ride from Page, even after some big setbacks in the first lap.  There is no need to come stateside to prove to anyone he is worthy of representing the US at worlds.   He's different, but it works for him!


Robert Foshag
Robert Foshag

fully agree Towle and Sam need to piss up a rope.much respect for JP

Jeff Hicks
Jeff Hicks

I have the utmost respect for Jon Page. He is the ONLY US rider with the balls to go Euro full time. As afar as the comments from Dave Towle and Colt.....whatever. It's just words. Certainly not as painful as watching Colt's gyrations on BTB. I simply cannot watch him on camera. He looks like he's having a seizure.

MikeGrozak
MikeGrozak

Despite not being the US favorite (I've got this impression while watching US Nats), Page still delivers the best performance - a lot of respect to him.

Stybar was really, really unstoppable, and super impressive ride - that was the real cross. But, we should also be fair - he is obviously fresher then Nys, who has the whole season behind him.

Michael Krehlik
Michael Krehlik

I watched nationals but had to have the sound low enough you couldn't hear it most of the time. What exactly did they say about JP?

Josh Taylor
Josh Taylor

Dave Towle and BTB Tv can Pound Sand. Jonathon Page still has a lot of racing in his legs. Towle and Sam 'who did he ever beat?' Whatshisname were way out out of line. Those two assholes owe JP an apology... Ahh screw it. Those two can again, go pound sand!

Gregor Fröhlich
Gregor Fröhlich

Super spannendes Rennen, Stybar hat es verdient gewonnen!

MikeGrozak
MikeGrozak

I can not cite them now with confidence, but those two guys made his sixth place like the worst race of his life and demonstrated absolute absence of the respect, additionally making it quite personal with the phrases like "You maybe stronger than 150 other guys, but you are not the winner today", etc. I mean, even for the sixth place you have to fight, and the result should be respected.


Watching the XC WC, which is usually commented by Rob Warner, you can notice the degree of the respect he pays to any racer, and here I've immediately felt the difference.

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