Zdeněk Štybar details brief but intense cyclocross season
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Monday, December 17, 2012

Zdeněk Štybar details brief but intense cyclocross season

by Ben Atkins at 1:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Cyclocross
Czech star reaffirms his absence from the World championships as he aims at the Classics

zdenek stybarHaving apparently been asked continuously when his cyclocross season was going to start, two-time World champion Zdeněk Štybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has detailed the races that he will be lining up for this season. Having made the switch to the road this season, the Czech star will be aiming at the Spring Classics next year, which means that his appearances off road will be limited; all coming within a three-week period either side of the New Year.

Štybar won the Tom Boonen and Friends charity cyclocross race on December 1st, but has not ridden a serious event yet this season. He will kick off his campaign in the GP Rouwmoer - the next round of the bpost bank trofee - in Essen, on December 22nd, and he will begin there for one good reason.

“Mainly I’m going to start there because there is the base of my supporters club, so I will be really very pleased to start there,” he explained in a Youtube video posted by the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team. “I hope of course to do some good races but it will be not really easy for me, because I have not any cyclocross rhythm; I didn’t train at all for cyclocross; I even didn’t train that much on the cyclocross bike.”

The Czech will miss out the following day’s World Cup race in Namur - where he finished fifth last year - but will resume on December 26th with the World Cup race in Zolder - where he was narrowly outsprinted by Kevin Pauwels last year.

Following Zolder, Štybar will take part in the Azencross in Loenhout, the Versluys cyclocross in Bredene, and the floodlit Superprestige Diegem; these three races will be run on successive days, on December 28th, 29th and 30th.

“Which will be the first time in my career than I’m going to participate in three races in a row,” he said.

Štybar’s next race will be the New Year’s Day GP Sven Nys in Baal, followed by his final race, the Czech championships on January 13th, where he will defend the title he has won the the past five years in his hometown of Stříbro.

“My father is the organiser, so I have to start there, whatever’s going to happen” he laughed.

Finishing his season at his national championships means that Štybar will not be travelling to Kentucky to try for a third World title; something that he has already confirmed.

“Of course the very well discussed World championship in Louisville is not for me this year,” he reaffirmed. “I think it’s not possible to combine preparation for the Classics - which is my aim for the season; my goals - with cyclocross in the US, where I will lose certainly three weeks which can be very crucial for the Classics; I wouldn’t be really in top form for the spring.”

Although he is a two-time World champion, and an almost permanent fixture on the podium of previous seasons, Štybar is under no illusions as to his performance when he takes the start in his seven races this winter.

“It's in my nature to take these events very seriously. It won't be easy because I will have to measure up against the best specialists in the world but I'm going to try to do my best for me and my fans, to whom I promise to give it my all in hopes of obtaining worthy results. I'm convinced that re-embracing the world of cyclocross and its supporters, if only for a few races, will be magical.

“Normally, considering my current UCI ranking in cyclocross, I should manage to stay on the front lines for the starts, and this is without a doubt an advantage."


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