Stybar nearing agreement with Quick Step, Classics career on horizon
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stybar nearing agreement with Quick Step, Classics career on horizon

by Shane Stokes at 7:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Cyclocross
 
Czech rider might opt to leave Telenet-Fidea

Zdenek StybarWorld cyclo-cross champion Zdenek Stybar recently said that he wanted to target road races such as the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, and is now in negotiations with the team that has the best recent history in those events.

The 24 year old Czech rider is very impressive when in full fitness and that ability has attracted the Quick Step team, which have been negotiating with him. He said that he is getting close to agreeing terms.

“Last Monday I was almost ready to sign with [current team] Telenet,” he told Sporza. “But there were a few things that were not right. Then suddenly I got a very nice offer from Quick Step; I was surprised by it.”

Telenet Fidea might not be finished yet, and could end up matching Quick Step’s offer. That said, Stybar appears to be leaning towards the team of Tom Boonen and Sylvain Chavanel. “Hans Van Kasteren has the last world, but I am now close to Quick Step.”

Van Kasteren is however himself set to leave the team. He announced today that he would depart before the start of next year’s cyclocross season. "The fun is gone and I have to defend myself more and more lately against negative criticism," he explained.

He also spoke today about the chance that Sybar could turn to a road career, but envisaged that would be with his current team.

“There are even some ideas to start a continental cycling squad,” he said. “This gives Zdenek Stybar the possibly win [a Classic] the way he intended, but that is work for my successor.”

Thing have moved on since those comments, though, and it appears very possible that Stybar will instead head to Quick Step. The team has won three out of the last six editions of Paris-Roubaix, and four of the last six of the Tour of Flanders. That’s an exceptional record, and one which will prove to him that the team knows how to best race those events.

In making his decision, though, he must also consider if he would get the best possible opportunity in those races. There would be a danger that he could turn out to be a super-domestique for Tom Boonen or one of the other Classics leaders, at least in the short term. That will be another thing to factor into the equation.

Either way, a decision appears set to be made sooner rather than later.

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