Zdeněk Štybar: “I won’t travel to Hoogerheide for tenth place.”
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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Zdeněk Štybar: “I won’t travel to Hoogerheide for tenth place.”

by Ben Atkins at 5:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
Czech star to ride short cyclocross season but unlikely for Worlds or Nationals

zdenek stybarZdeněk Štybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) will once again ride a short cyclocross this winter, the former two-time World champion has confirmed to cyclo-cross.info, but is likely to miss the World championships for the second straight year. Speaking as he prepares to start Saturday’s Boonen and Friends charity race, the current Czech national champion confirmed that he will be on the start line of the Bpost Bank Trofee in Essen, on December 21st - which was his first competitive race of last winter - but has not named any other races yet.

“My precise programme will be announced by Omega Pharma-Quick Step later," Styby told cyclo-cross.info. "My winter will have the same look as last year, when I had seven races scheduled. I'm not going to stress about cyclocross in the winter. I want to feel good, enjoy it.”

Štybar actually crossed the line first in Essen last year, but was demoted to fourth as he had impeded Jan Denuwelaere (Style & Concept), who came down and slid across the line. After that the Czech finished on the podium of every other race he competed in - including third place in the Zolder World Cup - but the elusive win only came in his last contest of the year, as he successfully defended his national title.

“Last year I got some good results, but they actually weren’t necessary,” he said. “I don't need to be in shape in December. Last year I was too good too early. Now I am a lot less far on, because my road season lasted longer and so I’ve started training later.”

Last winter saw Štybar end his cyclocross season after winning the Czech title, choosing not to make the journey to Louisville, Kentucky, for the World championships, largely due to the stresses of making such a long journey.

Although the 2014 World championships will be far closer to home, in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, he currently has no definite plans to take part.

“Right now I am still not [riding],” he said. “That is a decision that will be made later, in consultation with the team. It’ll be a last-minute decision. If it's pouring with rain for two weeks before the World Championship then I'm not going.

“I’m not going for a three-quarters of an hour run in a meadow in Hoogerheide five days before the start of the Tour of Qatar,” Štybar explained. “If I'm not feeling good feel, I won’t start either. I won’t travel to Hoogerheide for tenth place. I must not be in top form, but should be at a reasonable level.”

His almost total switch to road racing also means that Štybar will likely miss the Czech championships, meaning that he would miss out on a record-breaking eighth title. Currently sharing the record with with Radomír Šimunek senior, another white, red and blue jersey would see Štybar take the outright lead.

"If I retain my title I’d be the championship record holder, but don't think I’ll start,” Štybar explained. “The race falls in the middle of a training camp with the team, and it’s also on the other side of the Czech Republic. That’s a long way. Probably someone like Martin Bina is the favourite. I might have a chance of winning, but that race would break my preparation for the spring on the road. I have to choose.”


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