Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won the Boonen & Friends cyclocross for a second consecutive year on Saturday.
The annual fund-raising race for Move To Improve, an organization that supports children with neuromotor difficulties, was run around the Zilvermeer in Mol, Belgium.
The former world champion took the start with a handicap — his race began a minute after everyone else’s did — but nonetheless Stybar proved strongest in the sand. He caught 2009 winner Maarten Wynants (Rabobank) on the last lap, then attacked to take the victory.
Wynants held on for second with Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) third.
Boonen, who was unable to participate last year, managed to finish 12th in his eponymous event this time around.
“It was a hard race and everybody had to dig deep. I have to say thanks to all the guys that participated here. Some of them haven’t touched a bike for a while or never raced at a cyclocross bike before,” said Boonen.