Wednesday 3 February 2010
post worlds fall out
Local boy done good!
Stybie did what we all knew he could and destroyed the field with a controlled and skillful race, staying upright more than anyone else, and putting the hammer down when it would count most. For me, he is now the complete cross rider - blazingly fast in crit style races, strong in the grinding mud,, fleet of foot and technically fearless in the ice. Combine that with a relaxed but focussed mental attitude and you have a winner for years to come.
It was good to see Klaas Vantornout go close - after Nys, Albert and Stybar are discounted he is consistently the 'best of the rest'. Not the most flattering of appellations perhaps but indicative of a huge talent nonetheless.
I was hoping for Kevin Pauwels to be in the mix but it wasn't to be. Instead, Heule, Bina and Zlamalik took the fight to the massed Belgians with Mourey coming from a long way back toward the end.
To Richard (who commented with his predictions) - your thoughts may have been Orval fuelled but give yourself a pat on the back! They were pretty prescient, all things considered. Stybar did come good and I was very happy to share his victory with a thousand other Czechs (remotely of course), Bina was up there for much of the race getting his deserved 4th and the Czechs and Poles particluarly, were awesome in the other races.
So, is Belgium no longer the force it was once in world cross? Or will it be business as usual at Zonhoven, Voselaar and Oostmalle, the traditional season finale? Well the Worlds is always a bit special, a bit different. I suspect that a few individuals will continue to break up the Belgian dominance at the top, but overall it will be Flemish speakers to the fore once more. And we await the full development of Tom Meusen's talent too......
What happened to Albert? Not much to glean from the press, but an abandonment after 6laps implies either injury or illness, or perhaps something more sinister - a bad attitude. There were many riders there, with no hope of the podium who rode their hearts out, in the colours of their particlular country, just because it was the Worlds. Sure the course was difficult in the extreme, perhaps favouring a so called 'specialist' like Nys or Stybar. But, there was a job to be done for all. It seems unlikely from past exposure in the media, that Stybar possesses such mental fragility, or temperamental vicissitudes. The jury for Albert (for me at least) is out on that one..........
My nice man in the Lowlands, Ed Raket, posted this on the new Diablo ice tires through alt.binaries - check out the willfull skidding and braking whilst turning! Nys looks like a kid with a new toy. Glad he, and anyone else couldn't use them though - the race would have become a crit like Treviso.....