Stybar wins Eneco Tour
Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Zdenek Stybar found the perfect moment to go for a stage victory and the overall win in the 2013 Eneco Tour when he bridged the gap to breakaway rider Ian Stannard (Team Sky) and left him behind on the climb of Kapelmuur in Geraardsbergen.
With just five of today's 208 kilometer remaining the peloton was tired and splintered in pieces after a hard day of racing when Stybar accelerated as teammate Sylvain Chavanel shut down any attempts to form a chase group.
Stybar's acceleration brought him to Stannard's wheel quickly, and the two riders had an 18" gap with just two kilometer to go. Stybar delayed his final attack until the riders were inside the final kilometer. He then attacked with a few hundred meters to go and crossed the finish line in sole fashion to take the overall victory over Argos-Shimano's Tom Dumoulin.
Today's stage victory for Stybar was his second in the Eneco Tour.
"This is one of the best days of my life," Stybar said. "I am really happy and it is like a dream for me to come there to Eneco Tour to win two stages, almost three, and the general classification. Today the stage wasn't so easy, but when Chavanel went away with small group on the Kwaremont I said 'OK perfect, I have to only to stay on wheels and see what's happened."
"But when we caught the group, I understood probably I had a chance to win Eneco Tour. I knew the last climb, Denderoordberg, was really hard. To me it was the only way to go for the win. It wasn't in my head to wait for the final sprint so I decided it was everything or nothing on the climb. I tried my maximum and I did it. When I went, a few kilometers after my attack I found Stannard in front. I really didn't know he was there. It was really great to find a rider like him. We worked well together — to be honest even he would have deserved the victory. But when I was there I was only focused and concentrated on gaining seconds for the GC, so I really went for it. Until the last meters I went a block for the general classification."
Stybar explained that his success at Eneco Tour has been a far cry from his first moments recovering after surgery.
"It's really a big step for me after a very hard period, a lot of time alone in training," Stybar said. "Now I am happy. I have to thank my family, my girlfriend and the team who was always near me. To me it's like a surprise, to be the winner of this race. But I was probably fresher than other riders at this moment. I didn't ride the tour, but I think everything happens for a reason. It's the motto of my life. I had a little bad luck at the beginning of the season, and probably without this injury I would have rode the Tour. But I didn't so now I am fresh and the bad luck is away, so I am happy."
"All that has happened during this week is because of my great team," Stybar continued. "Everybody in the team gave me a big help and big morale. I have to also thank Alessandro