Styby is still waiting for his first big win of the season, but he came very close to getting it today. He and Kevin Pauwels were in a very close battle for the win. The result was another win in a GVA Trophy race for Pauwels.
Countryman Martin Zlamalik had the best start, but his lead didn’t last long as Zdenek soon took the initiative. Sven Nys moved to the front at the end of the second lap, looking for points in the intermediate sprint, but he wouldn’t be able to stay with the leaders for much longer.
Styby eventually won that sprint and the pace dropped after that. Bart Aernouts took advantage of the situation and went on the attack. He was able to stay in the lead until Zdenek noticed that Nys had fallen behind. Styby pushed the pace and he caught up to the leader with three riders in his wheel.
Pauwels took over at the end of the third lap and a duel with Zdenek followed. Meanwhile, Niels Albert, who had yet another bad start, tried to catch the leaders, but would come up short and ended up finishing third on the Hotondberg.
The two leaders worked well to stay ahead and it would be the final lap that would determine who was the strongest rider today. “That was obviously Kevin. He pretty much rode 70% of the race in the lead. But I’m happy with my race. It’s been awhile since I battled so long for the win.”
Styby did try to shake off Pauwels during the last lap, but things went the other way around. The Sunweb leader placed a surprising, but clever attack in the final meters in the field. “I think there’s a new hero in Belgium. I’m happy for him. Changing teams was probably the best move of his career.”
So how did it go today? “I have mixed feelings. I don’t know why, but my technique isn’t as good as it once was. Maybe I just need a few more races. Tomorrow I leave for Mallorca for five days and I’ll return just before Hamme-Zogge.”
Zdenek does move up a place in the general classification of the GVA Trophy thanks to today’s result. Kevin Pauwels leads our favorite by ten points in the standings. Sven Nys had a bad day, finishing back in seventh and is currently third in the standings, 14 points behind the leader. “Anything is still possible.”
Photo Š Cyclephotos.co.uk
By on 06/11/2011