Zdenek Stybar rode in his last professional ‘cross race on Sunday in Hoogerheide at the UCI World Cup. It was a special appearance to begin the beginning of his retirement (he will race the worlds in Tabor) and the venue was no coincidence. The location was where the 38-year-old secured his third of three rainbow jerseys.
Stybar has been racing as a privateer since January, following the conclusion of his contract with Team Jayco AlUla on December 31. It marked the end of a long career, featuring not only significant victories in off-road races but also exceptional performances on the road. His palmarès include, among others, a stage win at the Tour de France, two second places at Paris-Roubaix, and a victory at Strade Bianche.
When Stybar won the worlds in 2014 in Fayetteville, it became an incredible battle between Nys and Stybar. On the last lap, they were neck and neck, suggesting it might come down to a sprint. However, drama unfolded when Stybar slipped in an off-camber corner, and Nys swiftly dismounted and leapfrogged him. Although Nys quickly gained an advantage, a mishap during a U-turn nullified it. Stybar rode by him and took off.
It was a rare sight to witness the Belgian, known for his incredible skills in ‘cross, make a flub, especially in such a decisive moment.
Stybar went on to achieve an incredible victory, putting six seconds into Nys.
Check out the dramatic finale below.
Throwback to 2014 ⬇️
— UCI Cyclocross (@UCI_CX) January 27, 2022