No cyclocross World championships for Zdeněk Štybar
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Thursday, October 11, 2012

No cyclocross World championships for Zdeněk Štybar

by Ben Atkins at 6:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross, World Championships
 
Spring road ambitions mean that double World champion will not seek a third title in Louisville

zdenek stybarThis winter’s cyclocross World championships, to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, between February 2nd and 3rd, will be without one of the sport’s most charismatic figures, as Zdeněk Štybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) will miss the event. The two time World champion - who took his titles in Tábor, Czech Republic in 2010, and Sankt Wendel, Germany in 2011 - will not seek a third title this time around, since a change of career focus to the road means he has big targets in the spring.

“Zdeněk will be riding just seven or eight crosses,” Omega Pharma-Quick Step directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters told cyclo-cross.info, shortly after the Czech rider closed his 2012 road season at Sunday’s Paris-Tours. “The first will be Tom Boonen’s charity cyclocross in Mol; Zdeněk, like [Rabobank’s former World champion] Lars Boom will start with a handicap of one minute.”

While Boonen’s race is just a bit of close-season fun, where road riders try their luck in the mud and sand in aid of “Move to Improve”, a charity for children with motor problems [which is why cyclocross specialists Boom, and now Štybar, are held back at the start - ed] Štybar’s first true cyclocross race will not be until the third round of the bpost bank trofee, the GP Rouwmoer, in Essen, on December 22nd.

“Afterwards he will ride the major year-end races,” said Peeters, “like Zolder [World Cup on December 26th - ed] and Loenhout [bpost bank trofee Azencross on December 28th - ed], negotiations are still going on with the organisers.”

This light race programme unfortunately means that an assault on the World championships would be unrealistic for the Czech champion, although he will defend his red, blue and white jersey on January 12th in the event run by his father. Indeed, with a new road focus, and goals in the early season Classics, the trip to Louisville could be detrimental to those ambitions.

“We decided Tuesday,” Peeters explained. “Whoever wants to be good on the road in spring has to choose, and that the World championships cannot be combined with preparation for the road season.”

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