What a race! The Czech Zdenek Stybar left it open for a long time whether he would even start. During the week he made his decision to start in Hoogerheide. His third world title proves him right with this decision. In an extremely exciting race, he pulled away from fellow escapee Sven Nys (Belgium) with a final attack on the last lap. The defending champion finished second in front of his compatriot Kevin Pauwels.
Frenchman Francis Mourey had the best start, leading the race for about half a lap by a few meters. He was followed by Dutchman Thijs van Amerongen, together with his compatriot, World Cup winner Lars van der Haar. While the German hopeful Philipp Walsleben had a rather moderate start, Nys and Stybar made their mark. Both skipped the World Cup last weekend and prepared for it on Mallorca. In retrospect, this seems to have been the right decision.
Heading out of the first lap, Van der Haar is leading the race along with Stybar, Nys and Mourey, despite having crashed twice by then. The latter had to pay tribute to his initial pace as the race progressed. The same applied to the German champions. Because while Walsleben initially tried to catch up with the front, he couldn't follow the attack of Pauwels, who finally went in pursuit of the front and caught up with Mourey a little later.
In the fourth lap, Nys and Stybar increased the pace and thus brought about a preliminary decision. Over the further laps, their lead over their closest pursuers grew steadily. Behind them, Pauwels first managed to catch up with Van der Haar and then lose him. Klaas Vantornout also improved to fourth place by the end of the race. The Dutch World Cup winner ended up sixth. Walsleben had to be satisfied with eleventh place after the race. Sascha Weber was the second best German in 21st place.
But in the last two laps things went off at the front. Stybar and Nys gave each other nothing. First it was Stybar, who attacked the outgoing world champion, but slipped over the front wheel in a corner and fell. Nys tried to take his chance, but fell down a little later.
The decision was only made half a lap before the end. With a phenomenal increase in pace, Stybar forced Nys to make mistakes. And he succeeded. In the end he had nothing to oppose the Czech. Stybar was able to celebrate his third title on the home straight and even had time to kiss his bike.
1. Zdenek Stybar (Czech Republic) 1:05:29
2. Sven Nys (Belgium) 0:00:12
3. Kevin Pauwels (Belgium) 0:00:40
4. Klaas Vantornout (Belgium) 0:00:59
5. Tom Meeusen (Belgium) 0:01:07