This is only the second year that Plzen is part of the world cup, so I'm afraid I can't give you all the gory details on it just yet. What I do know is that it's fairly fast, with hills that - as far as I can tell - most should be able to ride up as long as the bunch doesn't get in their way. In normal conditions that is, because who knows how one feels after running up the very nasty Plzen-stairs.
But, enough about what I think of the race. Let's find out what the man to beat thinks... after the jump.
It's really heavy track. Lot of wind and many turns. I'm curios. looking forward. - Zdenek Stybar
Yep, the man to beat is none other than Czech local Zdenek Stybar. Styby hasn't lost a race this season, and is leading in all three competitions (World Cup, GVA, Superprestige).
In the World Cup, the situation is as follows:
1. Zdenek Stybar (Tsj) 80
2. Niels Albert 70
3. Kevin Pauwels 65
4. Klaas Vantornout 60
5. Dieter Vanthourenhout 55
6. Steve Chainel (Fra) 50
7. Sven Vanthourenhout 48
8. Francis Mourey (Fra) 46
9. Sven Nys 44
10. Bart Wellens 42
As we've only had one race, you now also now what points are up for grabs today for the first ten. Neat eh? So, how to follow this race? Coverage starts in seven minutes on Sporza, with first a recap of the women's race, and then the men's race live afterwards. You should be able to follow it here:
Until then, you can look at pretty pictures of last year's race (won by Niels Albert), here.