Czech rider who is now focused on road career secures his third world title in the Netherlands

Zdeněk Štybar of the Czech Republic has regained the world cyclo-cross title he previously won in 2010 and 2011 after a pulsating battle with defending champion Sven Nys of Belgium this afternoon in Hoogerheide in the Netherlands.

Štybar got clear of Nys after he capitalised on a mistake on the Belgian halfway through the final lap, riding strongly to the finish to cross the line 12 seconds ahead of him.

Initially, local hope Lars van der Haar was with them as they got away after the start, but a series of errors caused his challenge to fade.

Belgium’s Kevin Pauwels took the bronze medal, finishing 40 seconds behind the winner.

Štybar only decided to race the worlds late on.

The 28-year-old is now focused on the road with Omega Pharma-Quick Step, and last season won the Eneco Tour and a Vuelta stage, and finished sixth at Paris-Roubaix.

His priorities at the Belgian team means the rainbow jersey will be missing from many of the biggest races in cyclo-cross over the next 12 months, however.

More to follow

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.