World Champion Zdenek Stybar dreams of Flanders and Roubaix
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Saturday, October 23, 2010

World Champion Zdenek Stybar dreams of Flanders and Roubaix

by Jered Gruber at 7:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Cyclocross
Cyclocross star wants to race the Spring Classics

Through six races of the cyclocross season, 24 year old World Champion, Zdenek Stybar, is unbeaten and untouched. When the Czech powerhouse toes the line in tomorrow's second round of the World Cup at home in the Czech Republic in Plzen, Stybar will no doubt be thinking about victory on the day, but his thoughts and dreams are already moving beyond the cyclocross circuit.

Speaking with Sporza, the rider who calls Essen, Germany home, confesses that "The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix play in my head."

Like many star cyclocrossers before him, Stybar does not seem content with dominating in his current discipline. He wants more, not just on the road and pave of Europe's greatest Classics though, but also on the mountain bike.

"First, I want to take part in the mountain bike race at the Olympics in London. Not as a tourist, but for a result. With that same feeling, I think about the road."

Stybar, still just barely out of his U23 years, has already spent many years racing the cyclocross circuit, and at only 24, already admits that it's wearing thin.

"Every winter is a copy of the previous one. The chance is real that I will become bored with the cross scene."

For Stybar, the formula is simple: "You set a goal, achieve it, and then look for new challenges."

Just as Stybar seems to have hit the pinnacle of cyclocross, he looks ready to move on, going in line perfectly with his own mindset. The Czech racer has had more than a few contract offers for the long haul, but Stybar is hesitant to agree to anything long term, because his dreams lie not in the Koppenbergcross in a few days time, but on the Koppenberg proper on Easter Sunday.

"I was able to sign with Telenet Fidea for three years, with Sunweb Revor too, but the Tour of Flanders is my dream race. It's complex. Sure, I will do well in terms of making money if I stick with cross, or do I invest in my career?"

Stybar isn't keen to completely give up on cross though. Ideally, he would be able to race a full road season, then head back to the circuit where he made his name. The only question is - which team would give him that opportunity?

"A ProTeam that gives me the chance to take a stab at the Spring Classics and also allows me to go back in November for some cross races without regard to the standings - that would be the ideal combination. Now, I just have to find that team."

If Stybar can go through the rest of this season at the same rate he now flies, it seems unlikely that he won't find the interest of the top teams. Lars Boom has already made the successful switch to the road, Niels Albert has voiced his interest, and now Zdenek Stybar - the three brightest young names in cyclocross are all aiming for road glory.


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