Zdenek Stybar to kick off road season in the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque again
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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Zdenek Stybar to kick off road season in the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque again

by Ben Atkins at 3:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, Four Days of Dunkirk
 
Omega Pharma-Quick Step Czech to start in the same race as 2011 after post-cyclocross season rest

zdenek stybarZdenek Stybar will get his 2012 road season under way in the same way as 2011, as he leads the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team to the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque, which begins on Friday, May 4th. The Czech cyclocross champion finished third in last year’s edition of the French stage race [which actually lasts five days! - ed], behind Europcar’s Thomas Voeckler.

Having raced a full winter of cyclocross - for possibly the last time in his career - the 26-year-old has been taking a well-earned rest.

“After the ‘cross season I really unplugged for a few weeks,” he explained. “I was on vacation but I always tried to stay active with some sessions at the gym and in the pool.

“Afterwards I started training,” he continued. “Since the beginning of April I’ve been in Mallorca, where I’ve managed to train with the right consistency and intensity thanks to the favorable weather conditions, and now it’s time to get back to racing. At Dunkerque last year I took home a good third place. This year we’ll see. The race will be important to understand where I stand in terms of preparedness. After Dunkerque I’ll be at the starting line for the Tour of Belgium.”

Stybar will be joined in the team with a fellow winter specialist: track star Iljo Keisse, who recently took a heroic victory - where he recovered from a crash in the final kilometre - in the penultimate stage of the Tour of Turkey. Also in the team will be Irish champion Matt Brammeier, who was part of the stage-long break in the third stage of the Tour de Romandie, and neo-pro sprinter Andy Fenn, who took two races in February’s Mallorca Challenge, and second in the final stage in Turkey.

The rest of the team will be made up of riders, returning to the road after supporting Tom Boonen and Sylvain Chavanel in the Classics: Dwars door Vlaanderen winner Niki Terpstra, Gert Steegmans, and Jérôme Pineau. 21-year-old Guillaume Van Keirsbulck will make his return to racing after being brought down in the Arenberg Forest, while in the breakaway at Paris-Roubaix.

Omega Pharma-Quick Step team for the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque
Matthew Brammeier, Andrew Fenn, Iljo Keisse, Jérôme Pineau, Gert Steegmans, Zdenek Stybar, Niki Terpstra and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck

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