Zdeněk Štybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) got his first win of the season on Saturday at the C2 Versluys Cyclocross in Bredene, Belgium.
The race came down to last lap attacks, with Rob Peeters (Telenet-Fidea) making a solo bid for the win, dropping his four companions in Štybar, Dieter Vanthourenhout (BKCP-Powerplus), Lubomir Petrus (BKCP-Powerplus) and Joeri Adams (Telenet-Fidea).
Moments later, the Czech National Champion gave chase, rejoining Peeters and outsprinting down the finishing straight.
“This is a very nice race, which is why this event has long entered in my diary,” said Stybar, after taking the win at the 2013 Versluys Cyclocross event.
The win was the 28-year-old Štybar’s first victory in what has been only a short four-race cyclocross season. He’ll contest his fifth race tomorrow at the Superprestige race in Diegem.
“I am a bit surprised but really happy about this victory as it is important to me,” Štybar said to media after his win. “I would like to thank the supporters who were here at this race…It’s always nice to come back to this scene and get good results.”
Sooo happy with my win in #bredene tomorrow Diegem 4th race in row
— Zdenek Stybar (@zdenekstybar) December 28, 2013
Peeters was optimistic with his chances of taking the win on the last lap, but Tweeted that he was wary of the Czech’s sprinting ability should it come down to a sprint.
Although the race lacked many of the top cyclocrossers, including Niels Albert, Sven Nys and Lars van der Haar, it was successful outing for American Jonathan Page (Fuji-Spy-Competitive Cyclist), who finished just one minute behind Štybar, in sixth, his best placing since leaving the States. Page originally was doubting whether he’d start the Verluys race, after a hard crash yesterday in Loenhout, but was pleased with the result given the circumstances:
Ouch. That hurt. But worth it. 6th. http://t.co/DGj8xAe9o9
— Jonathan Page (@thejonathanpage) December 28, 2013
Page was one of two Americans contesting the race in Bredene, with Jeremy Durrin (Optum Pro Cycling) finishing in 21st.
The race was quickly a race between the top five racers, with two Czech racers in Styby and Petrus, and three Belgians. Page was left to chase the leading group of five, but would not make contact.
With such impressive, early results, everyone wants to know if Štybar will be racing the World Championships in Hoogerheide this season, where he finished second at the 2009 Worlds. “That is still far away,” Stybar said. “I’m going to make a decision at the last moment. But participation in the World Championships should not undermine my preparation for the road season.”
Full Versluys Cyclocross in Bredene results below.
Notes: By winning the race, Stybar gets a brand new Vespa scooter as one of his prizes (see below). The race also held non-UCI neiuwelingen and junior races earlier in the day. Niels Albert was advertised to be racing, but did not race.
— Patrick Lefevere (@PatLefevere) December 28, 2013
2013 Versluys Cyclocross in Bredene Results - Elite Men
|18||Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE||BEL||25||1:04:09|
|20||Steven DE DECKER||BEL||31||1:04:25|