Just Perfect – Stybar Wins Dramatic Dual
First Zdenek Stybar of Czech Republic pushed the pace, then Sven Nys of Belgian. One attacked, then the other. One faltered and recovered, then the other. One crashed, then the other. On Sunday at the UCI World Cyclocross Championships, two champions wore down the rest of the Elite Men’s field and then each other in a dual in the sticky, tricky thick mud of Hoogerheide in the Netherlands.
Stybar, who rides for Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Pro Cycling, made his winning move in the final lap to win his third rainbow jersey. His 12-second winning gap even gave Styby, as his multitude of supporters call him, enough time to kiss his Zipp handlebars and then hoist arms aloft in victory.
“It was perfect,” said Tom de Laet, who along with his father, Gilbert, are Stybar’s mechanics. “I knew he was going for the podium, but to win…” De Laet may have been at a loss for words, but not those who gathered around Stybar’s camper van yelling “Styby! Styby!”. Other fans snapped photos of Stybar’s mud-spattered winning Zipp and SRAM-equipped Specialized CruX.
What made Stybar’s victory even more impressive is that he raced just a handful of cyclocross races this season and did not confirm his participation in the world championships until recent days. Stybar has been focusing on road racing the past two season, with impressive results including the overall classification of the Eneco Tour with two stage victories, one stage of the Vuelta a España, and a sixth place at Paris-Roubaix.
Racing for Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, Stybar uses SRAM components, Zipp wheels, bars, stems and seatposts and Quarq power meters in racing and training. For Sunday’s world championship race, his setup included Zipp 404 Firecrest Tubulars, Zipp SL Speed 20 degree offset carbon seatpost (which is used by many OPQS racers), a 130mm Zipp Service Course SL stem and 42cm wide c-to-c Zipp Service Course SL-70 handlebar.