Zdenek secured his fourth victory of the season by winning the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde. The win also sees him top the Superprestige standings. Bart Aernouts finished second while Sven Nys completed the podium.
Just like last week, it was another warm race by cyclocross standards. However, the thermometer only registered 18 degrees so food and drink were not permitted during the race. That, combined with the dry conditions, led to a quiet day in the pit area.
The sunny skies attracted a large crowd to the race in Ruddervoorde, which didn't start until 5:15pm. Niels Albert made his season debut and got off to a fast start, but it was Styby who was in the lead after the first lap. "That was to avoid riding the whole race in a big group of ten."
Zdenek had an excellent partner for the day in Bart Aernouts. "I thought: We'll try it for three laps. If it doesn't work then I'll wait until the finale. But after two or three laps we had a 30 second advantage and kept going. It was fun because I train regularly with Bart in Essen. And the crowd was amazing."
A chase group containing a lot of big names (with the exception of Klaas Vantornout who was held up at the first turn and never got back in the race) formed behind the leaders. Niels Albert was also part of the chase group. "But there was no question of me taking over. I was at my limit the whole time." Albert finished seventh.
The pace steadily increased as the final lap drew closer. Aernouts tried to get away with an attack in the sand. "It was an all or nothing attempt," he said after the race. "I know that I have little chance if I go into the last lap with Zdenek. But Zdenek was alert and a just a little bit stronger."
Styby took the lead during the last lap and Aernouts was unable to keep up. "It's really great to win again. I've won all my races so far, but that can easily change. I have to take whatever I can get. A second overall victory in the Superprestige? I'm not thinking about that. It's only October."
Sven Nys finished third, a good way back from the first two. He was followed by Steve Chainel and Bart Wellens. The next Superprestige race is in Zonhoven on October 31. But Styby's next appointment is in Ardooie this Thursday. After that he'll head to Aigle in Switzerland for the World Cup opener.