Zdenek Stybar and his doctor feeling optimistic about quick return to racing
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Zdenek Stybar and his doctor feeling optimistic about quick return to racing

by Jered Gruber at 10:24 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
Cyclocross World Champion building slowly and carefully

When Cyclocross World Champion, Zdenek Stybar, left for a training camp on Mallorca last week, the prognosis was very foggy for the health of the 25 year old. When the Czech champion left his home in Essen, Germany, he left with a make or break promise: "I that that for ten days, I can train well there. If the inflammation resurfaces, I have a problem. If I have to quit the camp, my season is over," said the early season dominator to Sportweekend.

Things had gotten so bad for the rider who had rattled off a sterling succession of race wins to start the season, that "sometimes a cup of coffee was the only positive thing of the day."

Almost a week into his Mallorca training camp and things are looking up for Stybar.

Stybar commented on Twitter two days ago, "Second training session done. Can't again walk up the stairs :(. No, not because of my knee, but because of pain in my muscles. :)" Later that day, Stybar let on to a little more about his day's work: "Very happy with my training today. In total, six hours of work. Not bad for an almost handicapped man with 'one' leg. :)"

Stybar had good news again on Friday, bemoaning the lack of daylight with a smile, as his training was apparently only limited by wintertime light: "Time to go back to the hotel. No lights on my bike. :)"

The reports from Twitter have been extremely positive, and even better, the report from his doctor, Vincent Van Belle, in a conversation with Sporza, has been just as good.

"Zdenek has digested the lighter training load in recent days, and he is ready to take the next step."

The difference in the tales between rider and doctor are interesting, but nonetheless encouraging. If Stybar can continue to progress, there's no reason to think that a 100% return isn't on the horizon. Both the doctor and Stybar are hesitant to get too far ahead of themselves though.

"He is very carefully building," said Dr. Van Belle. "Everything is step by step along with getting his knee checked. We take no risks. Stybar himself is very optimistic."

There is no exact timeline for the injured rider's comeback, but Sporza does throw the name Christmas into the mix. If Stybar would return in the week between Christmas and New Year's, there would be no dearth in possible races, as the week between Christmas and New Year's is arguably the busiest of the season for elite cyclocross racers in Europe.



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