Zdeněk Štybar checks out London Olympic road circuit
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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Zdeněk Štybar checks out London Olympic road circuit

by Ben Atkins at 12:35 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
 
“The climb is quite serious,” says former two-time cyclocross World champion; hopes to represent Czech Republic

zdenek stybarWhile visiting the British capital London for the presentation of the “Cyclo-Cross” photo book, by photographer Balint Hamvas, Omega Pharma-Quick Step’s Zdeněk Štybar took the opportunity to check out the road race course to be used in the Olympic Games this summer. The men’s road race will head south out of central London, complete a long loop around Surrey, before completing nine laps of a circuit based on the climb of Box Hill.

It was the Box Hill circuit that Štybar was reconnoitring and, having seen the climb, the two-time cyclocross World champion does not believe that the race will come down to the bunch sprint that many expect.

“The parcours is difficult, so it is for strong guys,” he said. “The climb is quite serious, so at the finish we'll have a little group of strong riders. It won't be so easy and it will be an interesting race.”

While Štybar has checked out the course, it is not guaranteed that he will be selected to ride the race on July 28th. The Czech Republic has just two places in the event, and he faces competition from riders like Jan Barta and Leopold König (both Team NetApp) and Roman Kreuziger (Astana) for a spot. It is certainly an experience that he would treasure, should he be selected, however.

“I really would like to be there to defend the colours of my country," Štybar said.

Štybar’s transition from an all-conquering cyclocross champion to a WorldTour road rider has not been a straightforward one. In 2011 he struggled with the increased distances and duration of the top road races, but 2012 has started much better, with him taking his first victory at the top level, with the toughest stage of the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque, where he also finished second overall.

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