VeloNews.com » Cyclocross http://velonews.competitor.com Competitive Cycling News, Race Results and Bike Reviews Wed, 30 Jul 2014 22:46:38 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.2 Amy D. Racing program seeks a rider to carry on Dombroski’s legacy http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/amy-d-racing-program-sponsoring-select-female-athlete-upcoming-cross-season_336428 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/amy-d-racing-program-sponsoring-select-female-athlete-upcoming-cross-season_336428#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:28:47 +0000 Addie Levinsky http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=336428

Amy Dombroski was a rising star in the cyclocross community before her life was unexpectedly cut short in 2013. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | VeloNews.com

The Amy D. Foundation and Raleigh/Clement will sponsor one selected female rider for full domestic UCI cyclocross calendar schedule

The post Amy D. Racing program seeks a rider to carry on Dombroski’s legacy appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Amy Dombroski was a rising star in the cyclocross community before her life was unexpectedly cut short in 2013. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | VeloNews.com

DENVER, Colorado (VN) – The Amy D. Foundation, a nonprofit organization created in honor of the late pro cyclist Amy Alison Dombroski, is introducing an elite race program for the 2014-2015 cyclocross season.

Dombroski passed away in 2013 after a tragic accident while training in Belgium. The Amy D. Foundation was created shortly after her passing, with the mission to, “encourage and support young women through cycling, inspiring the celebration of healthy challenge and empowering the confident pursuit of lofty dreams.”

Echoing this statement, the foundation’s racing program will facilitate the growth of elite-level women’s racing, while celebrating Amy’s life and the wonderful impact she left on the cycling community.

The Amy D. Racing program, along with Raleigh-Clement, will provide comprehensive sponsorship for one selected female rider over the age of 18 for the full domestic UCI cyclocross calendar. The sponsorship will be awarded to, “a talented and driven woman that exhibits character and values consistent with those that Amy displayed.”

Johs. Huseby from Clement Cycling told VeloNews, “The goal of the Amy D. Racing program is to follow in the spirit of what Amy stood for and what the foundation goes on to support. The Amy D. Foundation is all about supporting young, aspiring female cyclists with a passion and drive to get to the top.”

Applications for the Amy D. Racing program are due by July 22, 2014 and a copy of the application can be found here. The athlete will be selected by August 5, 2014.

To read more about the Amy D. Foundation and the Amy D. Racing program please visit amydfoundation.org/racing.

The post Amy D. Racing program seeks a rider to carry on Dombroski’s legacy appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/amy-d-racing-program-sponsoring-select-female-athlete-upcoming-cross-season_336428/feed 0
Two-time world cyclocross champ Albert retires due to heart problem http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/05/news/two-time-world-cyclocross-champ-albert-retires-due-heart-problem_328691 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/05/news/two-time-world-cyclocross-champ-albert-retires-due-heart-problem_328691#comments Mon, 19 May 2014 12:58:53 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=328691 The Belgian suffers from a heart problem that could lead to a heart attack during a race

The post Two-time world cyclocross champ Albert retires due to heart problem appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Belgian cyclocross rider Niels Albert announced his retirement from the sport on Monday because of a heart condition.

The 28-year-old revealed the news in an emotional meeting with the media in Leuven, located in the Flanders region of Belgium.

Albert, a two-time world cyclocross champion (2009, 2012), said he suffers from a heart arrhythmia, a condition he said could cause a heart attack during a race when his heart rate is elevated.

Albert, who read from a letter during the press conference, said retiring was the only option because of the health condition.

“The bike has always been the biggest passion of my life, but after six years, I have to abruptly give up my professional life,” he said, according to a Sporza report.

“In these difficult circumstances, I would like to thank all those on my side: my family, friends, wife Chantal, the whole team and entourage, sponsors, supporters, all the organizers.

“The future is totally uncertain. My life was devoted to cycling. … Whether it’s business or in cycling, is still not [decided] today. All options are open.”

Albert, who turned professional in 2005, won the overall World Cup crowns during the 2010-11 and 2012-13 seasons.

The post Two-time world cyclocross champ Albert retires due to heart problem appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/05/news/two-time-world-cyclocross-champ-albert-retires-due-heart-problem_328691/feed 0
Stybar Q&A: On cobbles, racing with Boonen, and switching from ’cross http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/04/news/qa-stybar-on-cobbles-racing-with-boonen-and-switching-from-cross_322570 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/04/news/qa-stybar-on-cobbles-racing-with-boonen-and-switching-from-cross_322570#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 18:22:05 +0000 Matthew Beaudin http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=322570

Zdenek Stybar continued his rapid rise in the peloton at Milano-Sanremo with a solid seventh-place finish. Now he's looking toward the stones of Paris-Roubaix. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

Zdenek Stybar, the current world champion in cyclocross, talks about his leap to the road, that day at Roubaix, and what may come next on

The post Stybar Q&A: On cobbles, racing with Boonen, and switching from ’cross appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Zdenek Stybar continued his rapid rise in the peloton at Milano-Sanremo with a solid seventh-place finish. Now he's looking toward the stones of Paris-Roubaix. Photo: BrakeThrough Media | brakethroughmedia.com

He sits on a couch, loose. His new, white Chuck Taylors look crisp, as does his immaculate poof of hair. He speaks animatedly, and uses his hands.

Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) loves talking about racing, loves talking about what makes him tick. His name is bandied about now in cycling as the next “it” rider. Or, we should say, the next star on the road. He’s already a cyclocross king, a three-time world champ, and the discipline’s current bearer of the rainbow stripes.

Stybar’s road palmares is decidedly thin, though that could change at a moment’s notice — or the amount of time it takes to lose Fabian Cancellara’s wheel over the cobbles after a freak collision.

Stybar won a stage at the 2013 Vuelta a España and the overall at the Eneco Tour. In 2012, he won stages at the Tour of Poland and at Four Days of Dunkirk. Back in 2006, he won two stages at smaller races.

Of course these results don’t mention that he could have won Paris-Roubaix last year without that odd, imperfectly timed collision with a photographer. But this is road racing. Lots of things could happen, right?

Stybar finished sixth that day in northern France, and seventh at last month’s Milano-Sanremo, picking up where he left off after the “Queen of the Classics” a year ago. He is part of the powerhouse Omega Pharma team, which can free him up a bit, but also serves as a tether to Tom Boonen, if the Belgian king is feeling good. Stybar sat down with Velo and the U.K.-based Cycling Weekly earlier this season in the Middle East.

VN/CW: What’s it like to swap over from cyclocross so quickly?
Zdenek Stybar: It’s not too difficult because I was only training for the road, for the road season, so for the worlds I didn’t change anything. Of course I did some intervals, but the same as I would do for the road. I didn’t change anything. Then, a few days before the worlds, I did some training over there on the circuit, and then two days after the worlds I went to do a recon for the Tour of Flanders.

VN/CW: Will you race in the world champion jersey a fair amount next season?
ZS: I really don’t know … because I have, like, seven races of cyclocross and I think it is really good training and preparation for the road. I did the races between Christmas and the New Year period, so I already had some base training. I did some long-distance rides and then I did intervals with the cyclocross [bike]. I did the same last year but not the worlds. I wanted to see how I would feel, how the condition and the shape would be. And then I will see what races I will do next year. It has to suit everything. It can’t be, “OK, I’m going to just show the jersey and that’s it.” If I will go there, I want to make sure I’m not going to be dropped and riding in 10-15 position, because then it is no fun.

VN/CW: What are some of the differences you notice between road and cyclocross racing?
ZS: When you are riding a climb, you just go at one steady pace and then you die only one time, or maybe two times, on the climb. You just go until you can’t. In cyclocross, you go, and then you explode, and then you somehow recover again during the race because you have the turns so you can breathe a little bit and then you can go again, so during a race you can die 10 times. … So I think it’s also good for the road and for the classics, like the brain remembers that. You have to train it and on the road it is difficult to train it. Like for example, for the classics, it’s really hard before the climbs, then it’s hard on the climb, and then above the climb again, so for each climb, you need like three good accelerations. That is pretty similar to the ’cross, and that is my idea why I wanted to do cyclocross races.

VN/CW: How often do you think about Roubaix from last season?
ZS: Um … [pauses, laughs] … I can’t really say like I go to sleep every night with the idea of what I could reach there if I didn’t have the crash. I really think more about the future. I don’t really turn back actually a lot behind me. I already forgot about the worlds. … I don’t really look behind, always more in front, so I don’t really think too much about Roubaix anymore. I think about Roubaix, but for next year.

VN/CW: Well, how about this year then?
ZS: Just that I have to get to the same place, but without a crash!

VN/CW: Do you think it’s to your advantage to ride for such a strong team, or do you think it may hold you back?
ZS: Absolutely for me I think that’s one of the most important things of all, actually, that I still have the guys with experience. Because I have done [the classics] only once, all those races. It’s my dream, it’s my big goal. So Roubaix, last year I did only a recon of 70 kilometers and all the other parts I had only seen on a movie. That was all that I knew about the race. So it was, “OK, let’s see how it will go, how the race will develop.” Now as fit as Tom [Boonen] is right now, I think it will be really nice to race in this team and to learn from those guys and to be there.

VN/CW: So it’s good to be in the shadows, then?
ZS: I think you know, it’s a big advantage. I really would love to help Tom, that he wins all those classics races. Because for me it is a big advantage for the future. Of course I would like to win Roubaix or Flanders and every classic this year, but we have one leader and we really go for the leader. I have of course my ambitions, but first it’s Tom. He is the absolute leader, and I’m really looking forward to learning from him in those races.

VN/CW: Do you think there’s more to come from you? You seem to climb pretty well. Any future GC ambitions?
ZS: No … then I really have to focus for it. I am now 28 so I also didn’t start with the road when I was 18. I don’t have the time anymore to say, like, “OK, now I go start for preparation just with riding on the long climbs to try to become a climber,” or to do different kinds of classics. I think I don’t have a place for it anymore, or even time. It’s just not possible, because if I want to be good in the classics, which is my dream, then I really have to train only for the classics. It takes really a lot of time to develop as a rider to some point where you can ride with one of the best riders. It’s like, you really have to train a lot and focus on that kind of work.

VN/CW: How’d you start racing bikes?
ZS: When I was three years old, really. I did my first race, I think in May ’89, I think it was 16th May 1989. I was only three-and-a-half years old. From then on I was racing only BMX, but it is just playing, but when I was seven I was world champion on BMX and then it went on. It also helped me a lot actually, because it always [opens] doors. … In the Czech Republic, there is not really a good base, and never was, so it was difficult to get in some good team and move on.

VN/CW: Did you win that first race?
ZS: No, because I was the youngest rider. I think they were five or six and I was three-and-a-half. I have pictures at home somewhere.

VN/CW: If you weren’t a bike rider, what would you have been?
ZS: Then I think I’d study and probably I would go somewhere abroad to try my luck somewhere else. In Czech it was always difficult, now I think it is improving, but I think I would have gone to some other country to start to work there or go somewhere through studies.

VN/CW: How is it training in the Czech Republic? Good roads and riding?
ZS: For me it’s a little bit cycling paradise over there. Like, since two years ago, they really work hard on the roads in my region, and it’s like everywhere, brand new roads, it’s pretty hilly. It’s steep climbs between one to three kilometers, and when I go a little bit far, like 80K, then there are really climbs between four to 10 kilometers. It’s really nice. I can train there for everything. One side it’s really flat, but also there’s no traffic at all. … It’s beautiful. It’s everything in nature. It’s really like you’re just on your own.

VN/CW: What’s more fun, cyclocross or road?
ZS: It’s all fun. It’s our job. Cycling and the road cycling, cyclocross, it’s two different worlds. You can’t really compare it, actually, because [’cross] … it’s a very small family. And [road] is like really huge.

VN/CW: Was it hard to make the call to switch over?
ZS: It’s very difficult to make the decision. You need to get the opportunity first to change. And also when I was continuing with cyclocross, I was sure I was going to win around at least 10 races a year. That I can probably win … maybe win a few world championships. And that I left, because I thought, “OK, I want more.” Or not really more, but I still have some other goals. And if I didn’t do it two years ago … then I couldn’t do it anymore. Because then it would have been too late. So it was really like five minutes before 12, otherwise it will be too late already.

VN/CW: Do you worry about regret?
ZS: Absolutely. It was always like that a little bit. I really want to try and really go for it. I was winning in cyclocross. Making also pretty good money. So then it’s like, you leave something where you are good in, and you don’t know what’s coming. You don’t know what it will be, and how far you will get. You have to decide.

VN/CW: That first season, did you have doubts? Worries?
ZS: No, actually. The first race when I started was Four Days of Dunkirk, and I was third there. And then a year after I was second there. The second year I won the stage in the Tour of Poland, and then this year was again a little bit more. So I think I didn’t make a mistake. Maybe now I won the worlds again. It’s like, I see also that I can always turn back.

VN/CW: If you had to pick one race to ever win, what would it be?
ZS: The Tour of Flanders. Because that’s the race why I actually [moved to] road. That race is something, it’s really stimulating, that race. Also because when I was doing the cyclocross races, and then there always came the Tour of Flanders fever in Belgium. And then everything is turning about the Tour of Flanders. It made me crazy about the race. Like you buy newspapers and you get a bidon with it, with the map, all the climbs. You go to the bakery, you have those little cakes with just some signs of Tour of Flanders. They make special beer for Tour of Flanders, special editions, so it’s always around. It’s not only about the race, like how beautiful a race it is, how difficult it is. It’s all around it. Last year, when I was in Brugge, on the stage there, looking around at, I don’t know, 10,000 people, it’s like, “Wow.” Those are the moments you say, “OK, that’s something special that you don’t have at any other race.”

It’s an early morning, you know? In Belgium it’s really just all about cycling. It’s like everyone lives [for] it, and whoever talks with you about cycling has a clue about cycling. A few years ago when I spoke with someone about cycling in the Czech Republic, they just had no clue about it. But that has also improved. We’ve come a long way. Also because they have good websites, thanks to you guys. It’s everything moving faster.

The post Stybar Q&A: On cobbles, racing with Boonen, and switching from ’cross appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/04/news/qa-stybar-on-cobbles-racing-with-boonen-and-switching-from-cross_322570/feed 0
CrossVegas promoter says World Cup talk is premature http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/03/news/news-crossvegas-host-world-cup-2015_321095 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/03/news/news-crossvegas-host-world-cup-2015_321095#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 18:23:44 +0000 Brian Holcombe http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=321095

Sven Nys has won both U.S. races in which he's competed — the 2013 worlds and CrossVegas. Photo: Chris Case | VeloNews.com

CrossVegas promoter Brook Watts says talk of a cyclocross World Cup in Las Vegas is premature

The post CrossVegas promoter says World Cup talk is premature appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Sven Nys has won both U.S. races in which he's competed — the 2013 worlds and CrossVegas. Photo: Chris Case | VeloNews.com

Reports emerged from Europe Monday that the UCI Cyclocross World Cup would make its first foray outside the continent in 2015 with a stop at CrossVegas in Las Vegas, but the event’s promoter called confirmation of the event premature. The late-September race piggybacks with the Interbike tradeshow and has seen a flight of elite European professionals at the start.

“In September 2015 Las Vegas is part of the World Cup circuit. This is now fixed,” Van Den Abeele said, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

Two-time world champion Sven Nys (Crelan-Trek), a member of the UCI’s Cyclocross Commission, won the 2013 edition and welcomed the news on Twitter, writing, “Yes, we have a world cup in vegas!”

CrossVegas promoter Brook Watts told VeloNews via email that he was in talks with the UCI, but that nothing was firm.

“Discussions with the UCI about CrossVegas becoming a World Cup that began in 2008 are ongoing today, albeit at a more serious tone,” said Watts. “CrossVegas has proved it is a world-class race worthy of a spot among other events like the World Cup, Superprestige, or BPost series races in Europe. We continue to work toward a goal of globalizing our sport and look forward to being a part of that for many years.

“At this time our energies are concentrated toward staging a successful 2014 event, including the introduction today of a new sponsorship webpage, and working with the team in Cincinnati to present the first Pan-American ’Cross Championships for our part of the globe.”

Watts told VeloNews in August 2013 that he expected a World Cup soon in the United States, but would not commit to his race’s entry to the discipline’s top circuit.

“While I’d love to have on my tombstone having promoted the first World Cup in the U.S., I’m not going to risk economic ruin to make it happen,” said Watts. “I know there are a couple parties that are interested, but I don’t know how far along they are with their proposals. It has to be a location that can draw a reasonable crowd, close to an international airport, but a location that has natural interest to international visitors because a significant portion of the crowd will be international visitors. There will be some superfans that make the trip and want to see a World Cup.”

The post CrossVegas promoter says World Cup talk is premature appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/03/news/news-crossvegas-host-world-cup-2015_321095/feed 0
Results: 2014 BPost Bank Trofee-Oostmalle http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-bpost-bank-trofee-oostmalle_317909 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-bpost-bank-trofee-oostmalle_317909#comments Sun, 23 Feb 2014 17:11:43 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=317909 Results from the finale to the 2013-14 BPost Bank Trofee series in Oostmalle

The post Results: 2014 BPost Bank Trofee-Oostmalle appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
  • 1. Niels ALBERT, in 1:04:17
  • 2. Tom MEEUSEN, at :04:25
  • 3. Kevin PAUWELS, at :04:56
  • 4. Lars VAN DER HAAR, at :05:02
  • 5. Eddy VAN IJZENDOORN, at :05:16
  • 6. Dieter VANTHOURENHOUT, at :05:16
  • 7. Philipp WALSLEBEN, at :05:16
  • 8. Bart AERNOUTS, at :05:26
  • 9. Rob PEETERS, at :05:32
  • 10. Sven NYS, at :05:47
  • 11. Radomir SIMUNEK, at :06:02
  • 12. Joeri ADAMS, at :06:28
  • 13. Martin BINA, at :06:47
  • 14. Vincent BAESTAENS, at :06:50
  • 15. Thijs VAN AMERONGEN, at :06:50
  • 16. Jim AERNOUTS, at :06:53
  • 17. Klaas VANTORNOUT, at :07:20
  • 18. Sven VANTHOURENHOUT, at :07:35
  • 19. Thijs AL, at :07:37
  • 20. Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE, at :07:37
  • 21. Niels WUBBEN, at :07:37
  • 22. Twan VAN DEN BRAND, at :07:37
  • 23. Corne VAN KESSEL, at :08:34
  • 24. Marcel MEISEN, at :08:39
  • 25. Stijn HUYS, at :09:06
  • 26. Patrick VAN LEEUWEN, at :09:11
  • 27. Mariusz GIL, at :09:16
  • 28. Bart VERSCHUEREN, at :09:50
  • 29. Ingmar UYTDEWILLIGEN, at :10:05
  • 30. Kevin CANT, at :10:27
  • 31. Niels KOYEN
  • 32. Jens GYS
  • 33. Davy COMMEYNE
  • 34. Wouter GOOSEN
  • 35. Kristof COP
  • 36. Edwin DE WIT
  • 37. Hans VAN DEN BOGAERT

The post Results: 2014 BPost Bank Trofee-Oostmalle appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-bpost-bank-trofee-oostmalle_317909/feed 0
Sven Nys wins BPost Bank Trofee title; Niels Albert takes finale http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-wins-bpost-bank-trofee-title-niels-albert-takes-finale_317902 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-wins-bpost-bank-trofee-title-niels-albert-takes-finale_317902#comments Sun, 23 Feb 2014 15:35:25 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=317902 Nys takes the overall title as Albert comes to life in the final round of the series

The post Sven Nys wins BPost Bank Trofee title; Niels Albert takes finale appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) won the BPost Bank Trofee series finale on Sunday in Oostmalle.

Albert took the victory, his fourth consecutive win here, ahead of Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games).

Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) finished 10th and collected the overall title.

The post Sven Nys wins BPost Bank Trofee title; Niels Albert takes finale appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-wins-bpost-bank-trofee-title-niels-albert-takes-finale_317902/feed 0
Gallery: Nys nicks Superprestige from Albert — but just barely http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-nys-nicks-superprestige-from-albert-but-just-barely_317239 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-nys-nicks-superprestige-from-albert-but-just-barely_317239#comments Sun, 16 Feb 2014 00:31:37 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=317239

Tom Meeusen was a man on a mission in Middelkerke. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Photos from the final round of the 2013-14 Superprestige series

The post Gallery: Nys nicks Superprestige from Albert — but just barely appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Tom Meeusen was a man on a mission in Middelkerke. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The post Gallery: Nys nicks Superprestige from Albert — but just barely appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-nys-nicks-superprestige-from-albert-but-just-barely_317239/feed 0
Results: 2014 Superprestige-Middelkerke http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-superprestige-middelkerke_317234 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-superprestige-middelkerke_317234#comments Sat, 15 Feb 2014 23:01:41 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=317234 Results from the final race in the 2013-14 Superprestige series

The post Results: 2014 Superprestige-Middelkerke appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
  • 1. Tom Meeusen 57:32
  • 2. Kevin Pauwels, 0:19
  • 3. Sven Nys, 0:29
  • 4. Lars van der Haar, 0:30
  • 5. Klaas Vantornout, 1:03
  • 6. Thijs van Amerongen, 1:07
  • 7. Niels Albert, 1:12
  • 8. Dieter Vanthourenhout, 1:20
  • 9. Philipp Walsleben, 1:55
  • 10. Jim Aernouts, 2:02
  • 11. Joeri Adams, 2:07
  • 12. Sven Vanthourenhout, 2:42
  • 13. Corné van Kessel, 2:55
  • 14. Julien Taramarcaz, 3:03
  • 15. Vinnie Braet, 3:08
  • 16. Jonathan Page, 3:14
  • 17. Marcel Meisen, 3:23
  • 18. Eddy van IJzendoorn, 3:24
  • 19. Bart Aernouts, 3:33
  • 20. Niels Wubben, 4:00
  • 21. Kenneth Van Compernolle, 4:09
  • 22. Rob Peeters, same time
  • 23. Vincent Baestaens, 4:20
  • 24. Micki van Empel, 4:26
  • 25. Thijs Al (Ned), 4:42
  • 26. Twan van den Brand, 4:54
  • 27. Martin Bina, 5:24
  • 28. Davy Commeyne, 5:59
  • 29. Kevin Cant, 7:42
  • 30. Mariusz Gil , -2 laps
  • 31. Niels Koyen, -2 laps
  • 32. Nicolas Le Besq,-2 laps
  • 33. Pieter Ghyllebert, -2 laps
  • 34. Inigo Gomez, -2 laps
  • 35. Teemu Viholainen, -3 laps
  • 36. Nick Both, -4 laps

The post Results: 2014 Superprestige-Middelkerke appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-superprestige-middelkerke_317234/feed 0
Sven Nys takes Superprestige from Niels Albert http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-takes-superprestige-from-niels-albert_317229 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-takes-superprestige-from-niels-albert_317229#comments Sat, 15 Feb 2014 16:52:37 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=317229

Tom Meeusen won the finale and moved into third overall in the Superprestige series. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Nys finishes on the podium while Albert can manage only seventh in the finale

The post Sven Nys takes Superprestige from Niels Albert appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Tom Meeusen won the finale and moved into third overall in the Superprestige series. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Sven Nys snatched the Superprestige trophy from Niels Albert in the last round at Middelkerke.

Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) won the finale ahead of Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games). But Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) slipped in front of Lars van der Haar (Rabobank) to take third on the day.

And Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), who started slowly but seemed to find his legs as the race ground on, could manage only seventh at the finish — leaving him tied on points with Nys at 101 apiece, but out of the series lead and into second overall.

Meeusen rose to third overall in the Superprestige series with 84 points.

 

The post Sven Nys takes Superprestige from Niels Albert appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-takes-superprestige-from-niels-albert_317229/feed 0
Gallery: 2014 Superprestige-Hoogstraten http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-2014-superprestige-hoogstraten_316684 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-2014-superprestige-hoogstraten_316684#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 01:09:49 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=316684

A sloppy start. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Photos from an exceptionally muddy Superprestige round at Hoogstraten

The post Gallery: 2014 Superprestige-Hoogstraten appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

A sloppy start. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The post Gallery: 2014 Superprestige-Hoogstraten appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-2014-superprestige-hoogstraten_316684/feed 0
Results: 2014 Superprestige-Hoogstraten http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-superprestige-hoogstraten_316667 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-superprestige-hoogstraten_316667#comments Sun, 09 Feb 2014 17:46:00 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=316667 Results from the 2014 Superprestige stop at Hoogstraten

The post Results: 2014 Superprestige-Hoogstraten appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
  • 1. Sven NYS, in 1:00:10
  • 2. Klaas VANTORNOUT, at :00:42
  • 3. Niels ALBERT, at :01:03
  • 4. Thijs VAN AMERONGEN, at :01:06
  • 5. Tom MEEUSEN, at :01:10
  • 6. Rob PEETERS, at :02:09
  • 7. Philipp WALSLEBEN, at :02:09
  • 8. Corne VAN KESSEL, at :02:28
  • 9. Jim AERNOUTS, at :02:38
  • 10. Sven VANTHOURENHOUT, at :02:53
  • 11. Kevin PAUWELS, at :03:10
  • 12. Joeri ADAMS, at :03:18
  • 13. Jonathan PAGE, at :03:52
  • 14. Martin BINA, at :04:22
  • 15. Patrick VAN LEEUWEN, at :04:28
  • 16. Kenneth VAN COMPERNOLLE, at :04:44
  • 17. Twan VAN DEN BRAND, at :05:10
  • 18. Julien TARAMARCAZ, at :05:29
  • 19. Vinnie BRAET, at :05:35
  • 20. Micki VAN EMPEL, at :05:50
  • 21. Mariusz GIL, at :05:54
  • 22. Niels WUBBEN, at :06:01
  • 23. Vincent BAESTAENS, at :06:16
  • 24. Javier RUIZ DE LARRINAGA IBANEZ, at :06:24
  • 25. Davy COMMEYNE, at :06:35
  • 26. Jeremy POWERS, at :07:08
  • 27. Bart HOFMAN, at :07:08
  • 28. Stijn HUYS, at :07:28
  • 29. Aitor HERNANDEZ GUTIERREZ, at :07:35
  • 30. Niels KOYEN
  • 31. Kevin CANT
  • 32. Aaron SCHOOLER
  • 33. Bart VERSCHUEREN
  • 34. Nicolas LEBESQ
  • 35. Jon GOMEZ ELORRIAGA
  • 36. Inigo GOMEZ ELORRIAGA
  • 37. Teemu VIHOLAINEN

The post Results: 2014 Superprestige-Hoogstraten appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-superprestige-hoogstraten_316667/feed 0
Sven Nys takes Superprestige round at Hoogstraten http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-takes-superprestige-round-at-hoogstraten_316604 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-takes-superprestige-round-at-hoogstraten_316604#comments Sun, 09 Feb 2014 15:39:20 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=316604

Sven Nys salutes the crowd after a definitive win. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The Belgian champion is now within two points of overhauling Albert to win the Superprestige series

The post Sven Nys takes Superprestige round at Hoogstraten appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Sven Nys salutes the crowd after a definitive win. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) went two for two on the weekend, capping his victory in Saturday’s Krawatencross with another at the Hoogstraten stop of the Superprestige series and setting up a final-round battle with series leader Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus).

Albert was looking good early on Sunday, well out in front on a very heavy course with five laps to go. Then Nys escaped a chase group and bridged to the series leader, leaving Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games), Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) and Jim Aernouts (Sunweb) to battle for third.

Albert briefly challenged Nys on the tough, muddy circuit, but with three to go the Belgian champion opened an insurmountable lead.

Then Vantornout, too, caught and dropped Albert, and the finishing order was set.

Nys took his second win of the weekend by more than a half-minute over Vantornout, while Albert — who at one point, after a slide into the course tape, appeared on the verge of flinging his bike into the crowd — barely hung on to third ahead of a charging Thijs van Amerongen (AA Drink).

Albert began the day with a six-point edge over Nys in the Superprestige standings, but the Belgian champion is only four points down now with just one race remaining in the series, Feb. 15 at Middelkerke.

Lars van der Haar (Rabobank), who had been sitting third overall, abandoned Sunday’s race.

 

The post Sven Nys takes Superprestige round at Hoogstraten appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-takes-superprestige-round-at-hoogstraten_316604/feed 0
Gallery: Bpost Bank Trofee Series-Krawatencross http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-bpost-bank-trofee-series-krawatencross_316516 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-bpost-bank-trofee-series-krawatencross_316516#comments Sat, 08 Feb 2014 23:19:38 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=316516

Sven Nys, racing in the Belgian champion's jersey in Lille. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Photos from the Krawatencross in Lille, the penultimate round of the Bpost Bank Trofee series

The post Gallery: Bpost Bank Trofee Series-Krawatencross appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Sven Nys, racing in the Belgian champion's jersey in Lille. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The post Gallery: Bpost Bank Trofee Series-Krawatencross appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-bpost-bank-trofee-series-krawatencross_316516/feed 0
Results: 2014 Bpost Bank Trofee-Krawatencross http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-bpost-bank-trofee-krawatencross_316511 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-bpost-bank-trofee-krawatencross_316511#comments Sat, 08 Feb 2014 22:26:24 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=316511 Results from the 2014 Krawatencross, the penultimate stop in the Bpost Bank Trofee series

The post Results: 2014 Bpost Bank Trofee-Krawatencross appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

  • 1. Sven Nys, Crelan-AA Drink Team
  • 2. Lars Van Der Haar, Rabobank-Giant Offroad Team.
  • 3. Tom Meeusen, Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
  • 4. Kevin Pauwels, Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team
  • 5. Niels Albert, BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team
  • 6. Corné Van Kessel, Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
  • 7. Radomir Simunek, Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
  • 8. Dieter Vanthourenhout, Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team
  • 9. Bart Aernouts, AA Drink-Leontien.nl Pro
  • 10. Jim Aernouts, Sunweb-Napoleon Games Cycling Team
  • 11. Sven Vanthourenhout, Crelan-AA Drink Team
  • 12. Rob Peeters, Vastgoedservice-Golden Palace Cycling Team
  • 13. Martin Bina, Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
  • 14. Eddy Van IJzendoorn, Orange Babies Cycling Team
  • 15. Thijs Van Amerongen, AA Drink-Leontien.nl Pro
  • 16. Marcel Meisen, Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
  • 17. Twan Van Den Brand, Orange Babies Cycling Team
  • 18. Julien Taramarcaz, Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
  • 19. Jeremy Powers, Team Rapha-Focus
  • 20. Niels Wubben, Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
  • 21. Thijs Al, Telenet Fidea Cycling Team
  • 22. Kenneth Van Compernolle, DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team
  • 23. Philipp Walsleben, BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team
  • 24. Mariusz Gil, Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
  • 25. Javier Ruiz De Larrinaga Ibanez
  • 26. Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez
  • 27. Patrick Van Leeuwen, Orange Babies Cycling Team
  • 28. Jonathan Page, Planet Bike
  • 29. Vincent Baestaens, BKCP-Powerplus Cycling Team
  • 30. Dave De Cleyn, Team Thielemans-Van Cauter
  • 31. Kevin Cant, Kwadro-Stannah Cycling Team
  • 32. Stijn Huys, Orange Babies Cycling Team
  • 33. Patrick Gaudy, The Barracuda Company
  • 34. Micki van Empel, Kdl Cycling Team
  • 35. Niels Koyen, DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team
  • 36. Kevin Eeckhout, Smartphoto Cycling Team
  • 37. Jens Gys, Luihoeve Crossers
  • 38. Bart Verschueren, Kdl-Crelan Cycling Team
  • 39. Aaron Schooler
  • 40. Ingmar Uytdewilligen, DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team
  • 41. Wouter Goosen, Zannata Cycling Team
  • 42. Edwin De Wit
  • 43. Davy Commeyne, Smartphoto Cycling Team
  • 44. Teemu Viholainen

The post Results: 2014 Bpost Bank Trofee-Krawatencross appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/results-2014-bpost-bank-trofee-krawatencross_316511/feed 0
Sven Nys tightens grip on Bpost Bank Trofee series http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-tightens-grip-on-bpost-bank-trofee-series_316431 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-tightens-grip-on-bpost-bank-trofee-series_316431#comments Sat, 08 Feb 2014 16:07:15 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=316431 The Belgian champion takes a three-up sprint with van der Haar and Meeusen to consolidate his lead in the Bpost Bank Trofee

The post Sven Nys tightens grip on Bpost Bank Trofee series appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
Belgian champion Sven Nys (Crelan-AA Drink) bounced back from his runner-up finish at the world championships to consolidate his overall lead in the Bpost Bank Trofee series on Saturday, winning a three-up sprint at the Krawatencross in Lille.

The race was the penultimate event in the eight-race series, which concludes Feb. 23 with the Internationale Sluitingsprijs in Oostmalle.

With six laps remaining Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea) was off the front, chased by Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) at a dozen seconds down, while Nys led a second pursuit with Lars van der Haar (Rabobank) and Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Napoleon Games).

But Albert and Pauwels faded from contention, and first Nys, then van der Haar caught up to Meeusen.

Going into bell lap the three were locked together, with Pauwels a distant fourth at 20 seconds and Albert out of the hunt at 46 seconds down.

Meeusen led early in the lap, then hung tight as Nys slipped past and kept hitting the gas. Van der Haar lost the wheel, but chased back on just in time to contest a three-up sprint.

Nys led it out and never looked back, while van der Haar overhauled a distraught Meeusen, who pounded his bars in frustration as he had to settle for third. Pauwels followed for fourth at 38 seconds with Albert fifth at 1:08.

Nys continues to lead the overall in the time-based series with Albert second at 4:05 and Meeusen third.

In women’s racing, Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) beat world champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank) and Helen Wyman (Kona Factory).

Wyman leads the women’s series with Cant second at 31 seconds and Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) third at 1:11.

The post Sven Nys tightens grip on Bpost Bank Trofee series appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/sven-nys-tightens-grip-on-bpost-bank-trofee-series_316431/feed 0
Video: Stop motion action figure recap of Stybar vs. Nys http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/video/video-stop-motion-lego-recap-of-stybar-vs-nys_316117 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/video/video-stop-motion-lego-recap-of-stybar-vs-nys_316117#comments Wed, 05 Feb 2014 23:17:13 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=316117

Zdenek Stybar and Sven Nys face off in a stop motion recap of the elite men's race at cyclocross worlds

The post Video: Stop motion action figure recap of Stybar vs. Nys appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Zdenek Stybar and Sven Nys face off in a stop motion recap of the elite men's race at cyclocross worlds

The post Video: Stop motion action figure recap of Stybar vs. Nys appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/video/video-stop-motion-lego-recap-of-stybar-vs-nys_316117/feed 0
From the Pages of Velo: At a Crossroads http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/from-the-pages-of-velo-at-a-crossroads_315841 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/from-the-pages-of-velo-at-a-crossroads_315841#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 23:12:00 +0000 Brian Holcombe http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=315841

In late 2010, Zdenek Stybar was weighing his options for a transition to the road, and talked about the decision with VeloNews. Photo: Luc Claessen from Velo magazine Feb. 2011

World cyclocross champ Zdenek Stybar struggles with fame, injury and the prospect of becoming a classics rider

The post From the Pages of Velo: At a Crossroads appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

In late 2010, Zdenek Stybar was weighing his options for a transition to the road, and talked about the decision with VeloNews. Photo: Luc Claessen from Velo magazine Feb. 2011

This story originally appeared in the February 2011 issue of VeloNews magazine. We run it here, the day after Zdenek Stybar won his third cyclocross world title in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. Since this this story’s publication, Stybar has joined Omega Pharma-Quick Step, won a stage at the Vuelta a España, and finished sixth at Paris-Roubaix, in 2013.

BRUSSELS (VN) — It’s Friday afternoon in Essen, Belgium, a small village just south of the Dutch border.

A light rain is falling — it does most days in November — and Zdenek Stybar has just spent more than an hour opening his legs behind a deurne. Climbing out of a silver Skoda Superb carrying his name on the doors, Stybar offers a firm handshake and the easy smile that most often greets his neighbors.

“Do you want soup?” he asks.

Stybar is ravenous, and a local restaurant owned by Bruno, the head of his supporters club, is the destination. Apologizing for a mess that isn’t there, he pulls the wagon quickly and smoothly past small, symmetrical gardens lining the narrow, cobbled streets of Essen. The Czech transplant parks two doors from the deli, in front of a window where a poster for the GP Rouwmoer in December carries his picture.

In the long Belgian winter, cyclocross is king, and the world champion a celebrity. Stybar, who moved to Essen three years ago to be with his girlfriend, Ine, is no exception. Whether he’s chatting with locals over the deli counter or dropping in on a 100-rider group ride, Stybar is the pride of Essen. On the way in the door, Stybar asks for a quiet corner table, if it’s not too much trouble. Just as he does three times a week, the biggest name on the biggest team in Belgium orders the soup of the day: a root vegetable broth brewed that morning. The soup arrives quick and hot and the 24-year-old is open about his modest beginnings in Planá, a town of 6,000 in the Plzen Region of the Czech Republic.

“Especially in the beginning my parents supported me a lot,” he says. “We were not really a rich family, so everything was very difficult. My sister was there as well and it was very difficult for them to give the same to her as me.”

The family is close, speaking almost daily. According to Stybar, since his niece was born two years ago, he and his sister Aneta have emailed at least five times a day, and he knows his father is watching on the weekends when his son battles Sven Nys, a family favorite when they were chasing junior races. “He doesn’t say it, but I think that inside he is really proud because I think it was his dream at the same time that we would go so far,” he says.

Stybar took up a racing habit as a child on the BMX track. He made his way through track, mountain, road and finally cyclocross, the latter providing his best results. Stybar’s father, also named Zdenek, loaded the family’s small Honda Civic for the weekend trips to Belgium.

“My father was the mechanic and after the races he was so tired from cleaning bikes that after 200 kilometers he would start to fall asleep, so I had to drive home,” says Stybar, laughing. “Now I have five bikes, 20 pairs of wheels and a big camper. Around me if I counted, it’s probably 10 people that just take care of me.” Stybar recalls finishing third in his first try at junior worlds: “The year after I was again third, so it was going well, and the second year of under-23 I won the world championship.”

That result carried Stybar onto the Telenet-Fidea team of world champs Bart Wellens and Erwin Vervecken, a dream come true.

“From the first time he was always a professional,” said Vervecken, who spent three years alongside the newly professional Stybar. “He is focused and everything is for the job.”

With Vervecken moving to Revor-Jartazi in his final year and Wellens battling cytomegalovirus, Stybar made the 2009-10 season his own. The Czech rolled off wins in Hasselt, Roubaix and Koksijde en route to the world title he earned in front of his home crowd in Tabor, Czech Republic.

“I had a lot of pressure from the press from Belgium and from Czech. That was really difficult,” he says, recounting the week leading into worlds atop the World Cup standings. “When I crossed the line, the first one I met there was my girlfriend. It was just so emotional, we hoped the moment would never stop.”

The pressure weighed heavily on Stybar’s shoulders, but the legs that carried him to the Czech championship on the same course in early January did not disappoint. The win was more a relief than anything, and after doping control, Stybar secluded himself in his hotel room with his family and friends for the evening. Ten months later, he says the only thing that could possibly top the world championship at home would be an Olympic gold medal. Cyclocross is not an Olympic event, and Stybar, a capable road racer with podiums at the Tours of Slovakia and Qinghai Lake, has been public about his interest in transitioning from the dirt to the pavé of the northern classics. When asked about an opportunity to join a ProTeam program, he says, “I don’t know. It’s something I must try.” A week after he sat down with VeloNews came the announcement that Patrick Lefevere, head of the Belgian Quick Step road team, had sold a majority stake to Zdenek Bakala, one of the Czech Republic’s wealthiest financiers. A shot at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix alongside cobbles star Tom Boonen was suddenly on the table.

Stybar knows a shift to the road provides greater opportunity for his profile to grow. At the same time, he knows that he cannot excel in both disciplines, and the inner conflict is apparent in his eyes.

Vervecken thinks his former teammate would be better served by staying in cyclocross where he could quite possibly be one of the all-time greats.

“I wouldn’t do it if I were him,” said Vervecken. “If he goes to the road, he’s a fine road racer, but there are 100 others at that level. It would be better financially to stay with cyclocross. He can make double the salary in cyclocross.”

Another young world champion, Lars Boom, made the transition to the top ranks of road racing a year after winning his elite title in 2008. Since joining the Rabobank ProTour squad, Boom has made a name with stage wins at the Vuelta a España and Paris-Nice. But Boom was a U23 time trial world champion and spent the road season with the Rabobank Continental team before leaving cyclocross. Stybar’s road resume, relatively, is lacking.

Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) considered a similar move after closing the 2009-10 season with a DNF in his worlds defense. He told Het Nieuwsblad that making a decision of this nature is troubling in the middle of the season. “If things remain uncertain for (Stybar) for a couple of months, that’s going to take its toll mentally. I would find it really annoying to be in that position,” said Albert. “I doubt I would be able to perform at my best, because certainty is really important for a rider.”

In the corner of the deli, the soup bowls are empty. Stybar orders a chicken sandwich and talks about his win in Hasselt and the door it opened for him. “It’s always hardest to win the first race,” he says. “The goal for the season was to make a stable season and I wanted just to stay on the podium and one day I would win if it goes right. And then I won in Hasselt and the day after in Hamme-Zogge. I went two months before I won one race and on that weekend I won two races.”

Twenty-four hours to the minute later, Lamboukrediet’s Nys is on the front of a three-man group in Hasselt, pulling Stybar and his teammate Kevin Pauwels through the dry, technical course at the provincial college near the eastern border with the Netherlands. In the end, the rider dubbed Štybie (pronounced Schteebee) comes through second behind an on-form Pauwels. The result is the Czech’s best since injuring his back and knee during a training camp crash in Mallorca in early November. When he thinks about Stybar the rider, Nys says it’s like looking in the mirror: “I see myself 10 years ago because he has everything that a complete cyclocross rider must have: explosion, technical skills. The power must come with the years. He enjoys racing. You saw with the jumps – he likes racing. He enjoys the fun of the racing and that’s what you must have.”

Since tweaking his back — and bringing on a case of tendonitis in his left knee by favoring the injury on a chilly, five-hour training ride on the island — Stybar has struggled under pain and a constant inner dialogue.

“Sometimes I wonder if it doesn’t hurt anymore; if it just hurts in my mind,” he says over lunch. Much like Niels Albert’s rainbow year 12 months earlier, Stybar began his 2010 season by ticking off eight wins. His first loss came just five days before leaving for Mallorca, but at press time, Stybar hasn’t won since.

Back to battle

Sunday morning comes wet and cold. The temperature has dropped 15 degrees Celsius overnight and a thick layer of fog rests low in the forest near Gavere in East Flanders. The SuperPrestige Asper-Gavere has been contested since the genesis of the series in 1982 and will see more than 15,000 fans in its 27th edition. Sunday’s race is the 250th series event as well, but Stybar needs no extra motivation — he is locked tightly with his friend Nys for the overall standings.

In Essen, Stybar said, “Just to win Superprestige is always important. … You’re going to race just the same regardless and it’s a really tough race.”

Tough is right. The course in Gavere sits on a military post, and even for the team campers carrying 10-foot-high rider pictures and sponsor logos, the parking is a mess. Stybar arrives to the venue 4.5 hours before the start to give himself time in case there is trouble with the fatigue-wearing soldiers demanding parking certificates at the gate. But the Czech is a member of the sport’s biggest team, Telenet-Fidea, and slides easily through a line of aging men in tightly kept berets and orange jackets.

Ninety minutes before start time, a crowd of thirty or so fans presses around the side of the camper where head mechanic Gilbert De Laet prepares a stable of bikes, each emblazoned with a venue where Stybar won during the 2009-10 season. Inside, Štybie sits at a small table, his terrier Hoska in his lap, sharing a pot of spaghetti with freshly grated Parmesan and a half pint of olive oil. His physio, Wim, support staffer, Paula, and Ine are also there, and the mood is light. A stack of neatly folded rainbow skinsuits and jerseys lay on a sofa near the door while Paula washes dishes.

Stybar’s knee still isn’t 100 percent, but he shrugs it off: “It is what it is,” he says, holding a noodle for the dog to eat.

Nys was guilty of overtraining in his early years as an elite. In a career that has included nine Superprestige overall titles and a world championship, the Belgian champion has learned to back off the gas when his shape begins to peak.

“Stybar is training, training, training, and at the moment he is finished and you’ve got injuries also,” Nys says later. “It’s over the limit.”

During his streak, Stybar was training hard up to three days a week between back-to-back race days. “That’s the dangerous part, when you try to be better when you are good, you go over the top and you have a problem,” says Nys.

In Gavere, Nys takes the win, and Stybar finishes fourth. The sun hasn’t shown itself all day, but when it sets, temperatures drop near zero Celsius and Stybar returns quickly to the warmth of the camper. Wim hangs back to talk about his client’s health.

“In the race he said he had bad legs, but for him it’s normal. I hope he’s not bad with his head, but he will be okay,” Wim says. Stybar will return to Mallorca following the late-November Koksijde World Cup, where he finishes second to Albert, for two weeks of training, and is hopeful that his tendonitis will subside in the heat.

Back in Essen, Stybar talked about the meshing of confidence and reality, something he works on during weekly visits with a sports psychologist. “I am not really that confident actually. But during the race, when I can do a hard pace and see everyone suffering, it gives me more confidence,” he said. At the same time, Stybar knows that rainbow jerseys aren’t won on humility. “I’m never on the start line like, ‘Hey guys, you can beat me.’”

But beating Stybar is exactly what Nys and the rest of the world’s best will be attempting come January 30, when the world championship is held in Sankt Wendel, Germany.

The post From the Pages of Velo: At a Crossroads appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/from-the-pages-of-velo-at-a-crossroads_315841/feed 0
Rainbows fade away, but Belgium will always have ‘cross http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/rainbows-fade-away-but-belgium-will-always-have-cross_315770 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/rainbows-fade-away-but-belgium-will-always-have-cross_315770#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 10:00:14 +0000 Dan Seaton http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=315770

Zdenek Stybar says the importance of the rainbow jersey may be overstated where Belgians are concerned. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

In Belgium, says Stybar, cyclocross is number one, and the people will love their sport regardless of whether the world champion is racing

The post Rainbows fade away, but Belgium will always have ‘cross appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Zdenek Stybar says the importance of the rainbow jersey may be overstated where Belgians are concerned. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

HOOGERHEIDE, Netherlands (VN) — On Saturday afternoon he stood, mud-spattered, on the sidewalk a couple of blocks up the road from the world championship circuit in Hoogerheide. A mechanic scrubbed his bike, and tried — futilely, to comic effect — to brush the mud from his back and legs before he threw a leg over his bike to cycle the 15 kilometers home to Essen, just across the border in Belgium.

This is Zdenek Stybar, a man who, on that breezy Saturday afternoon, talked about a world championships in the same offhand manner most riders would talk about a particularly difficult training ride.

“Actually I decided (to race) because I went on Thursday to train in the track and I just felt so good on the bike, on my Specialized,” he said then. “So I said, ‘Okay, I’m sitting really good, I feel comfortable, so why not?’ I just accepted the challenge, and especially now when it’s much more technical I really go for it and I’m going to try my best.”

The next day, he stood on the top step of the podium, a three-time world champion after beating Sven Nys, the undisputed best in the world — until Sunday. Not since the 2011 championship in Sankt-Wendel, a race that featured the very same podium as Sunday’s contest, have fans witnessed a man-to-man battle on the scale of the showdown between Stybar and Nys in Hoogerheide.

On Tuesday, the new cyclocross world champion heads to the cobbled climbs of the Flemish Ardennes: recon for the Tour of Flanders. For all but one rider on the course on Sunday, the worlds were the season’s biggest race. For Stybar, it was just more training. The road is calling.

The Czech Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider walked away from an offer of a half-million euros per year from the Telenet-Fidea cyclocross team earlier this season, confident in his burgeoning road career.

He has reason to be so. In 2013 Stybar won the Eneco Tour, and the seventh stage of the Vuelta a España. He was on course for the podium at Paris-Roubaix before a before a collision with a spectator sent him careening across the cobbled Carrefour de l’Arbre, barely avoiding a disastrous crash. He still finished sixth.

But his success on the road may have come at the expense of his popularity in Belgium. Stybar, once regarded as nearly an honorary Belgian, was booed as he arrived first on the finish line in Hoogerheide. He told reporters after the race that a few fans along the course had even emptied their beers on him.

Stybar, ever gracious, chalked it up to a few unruly fans.

“You know, on one side I really understand the reactions of the supporters, maybe it’s due to alcohol, maybe it’s due to the disappointment that a (non-Belgian) rider won,” he said. “I can accept it that in cyclocross it was always there, and it will always be there that some supporters will act like that.

“I think Sven had also already a few liters of beer tossed on him. It’s probably the biggest amount of alcohol he’s had in his whole life. It’s just maybe part of the cyclocross and part of the crowd. From 50,000 people it’s not difficult to find a few crazy drunk supporters who will just throw the beer. I can live with that.”

What may be harder to live with, now that he once again wears the world champion’s rainbow stripes, are the persistent questions about his absence from cyclocross, a sport that Stybar has more than once acknowledged as a first love.

Even Nys, clearly the strongest of the day — save for Stybar — said his presence elevated both the day and the sport.

“If I won today, it’s better to win from a big champion, and if I lose today, it’s better to lose to a big champion,” said Nys. “For me it’s better to have a race like this. (Stybar) is three times world champion. He’s not only a road racer. He has all the skills to race on the highest level after just six or seven races. For me it’s better that Stybar is here, even when I’m second.”

But even as Nys told reporters he regretted the decision by one of his greatest rivals to race on the road, he could understand why a rider as talented as Stybar would want to test himself in the biggest one-day road races in the world.

“For us, for cyclocross overall, it should be really good that a Czech rider, Stybar, a big champion, is doing all the races,” said Nys. “But that’s something he’s chosen, and I can imagine he also wants to win a classic on the road. And when he wins a race like that, I’m going to say, ‘Damn! I now understand why I’m second in the world championships in Hoogerheide.’”

Nys’ affirmation may help to smooth some ruffled feathers in Belgian cyclocross fandom, but Stybar will continue to live with the pressure of a life split between two worlds.

Will he, like women’s world champion, Marianne Vos, continue to focus primarily on his road career, returning to cyclocross only for a few weeks at midwinter? Will he walk away entirely, as did one-time champion Lars Boom? Stybar told reporters in Hoogerheide to ask him again in September, saying he had to see how another season on the road played out, and tackle the “biggest change of my life” (marriage).

But, he said, he thought that perhaps there had been too much emphasis on the presence or absence of the rainbow jersey — won in a single race — on any given day in a season that’s still a spring, summer, and, he hoped, a successful road season away.

“I think that the color of the jersey is not really important because the supporters and the crowd and the TV viewers, it will never change,” he said. “It will always stay the same. Here in Belgium it is sport number one and it doesn’t matter if the world champion is there or not. They will still love the sport, the people. It won’t change anything.

“They don’t watch the race because there’s the world champion or the Belgian champion. They watch because it’s exciting. They can have a cup of tea and watch with the whole family. I don’t think it’s important if there’s a white jersey riding around.”

 

The post Rainbows fade away, but Belgium will always have ‘cross appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/rainbows-fade-away-but-belgium-will-always-have-cross_315770/feed 0
Gallery: 2014 UCI ‘cross worlds, elite men http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-2014-uci-cross-worlds-elite-men_315662 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-2014-uci-cross-worlds-elite-men_315662#comments Sun, 02 Feb 2014 18:40:26 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=315662 Photos of the battle between Nys and Stybar at the UCI elite cyclocross world championships

The post Gallery: 2014 UCI ‘cross worlds, elite men appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
$(document).ready(function() { $(".fancybox").fancybox({margin : [20, 60, 20, 60]}); });

The post Gallery: 2014 UCI ‘cross worlds, elite men appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-2014-uci-cross-worlds-elite-men_315662/feed 0
Gallery: 2014 UCI ‘cross worlds, under-23 men http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-2014-uci-cross-worlds-under-23-men_315715 http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-2014-uci-cross-worlds-under-23-men_315715#comments Sun, 02 Feb 2014 18:30:50 +0000 VeloNews.com http://velonews.competitor.com/?p=315715

Wout Van Aert on his way to a world championship after being disqualified at nationals following a false start. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The under-23 men's race nearly sees a repeat of the Belgian team's sweep of the juniors' event

The post Gallery: 2014 UCI ‘cross worlds, under-23 men appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>

Wout Van Aert on his way to a world championship after being disqualified at nationals following a false start. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

The post Gallery: 2014 UCI ‘cross worlds, under-23 men appeared first on VeloNews.com.

]]>
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/02/news/gallery-2014-uci-cross-worlds-under-23-men_315715/feed 0