Zdenek Stybar signs for Quick Step
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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Zdenek Stybar signs for Quick Step

by Ben Atkins at 9:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
 
Belgian ProTeam finally snares Czech World cyclocross champion

zdenek stybarWorld cyclocross champion Zdenek Stybar has signed a contract with Quick Step until the end of 2013. The Czech rider has been the subject of a tug-o-war between the Belgian ProTeam and his current Telenet-Fidea team, but the chance to develop as a road rider on one of the sport’s biggest teams – as well as doubtlessly rewarding salary, financed by new team owner, Czech billionaire Zdenek Bakala – has proved too tempting for the 25-year-old.

Stybar will continue to see out the current cyclocross season with Telenet-Fidea, commencing his contract with Quick Step on March 1st.

“Personally it's a dream come true,” said Stybar. “I'm very happy and excited to race with team Quick Step, one of the best team in the world. This is an important step in my professional life that will offer me many opportunities and open doors for me into the professional world.

“I'm still trying to absorb what's happened,” he continued. “I've won a lot in cyclocross but I really wanted to try this experience. I'm 25 years old, and right now it's time for me to try to understand what I can do on the road. This doesn't mean I'll be quitting cross. I love this sport and intend to keep at it.”

While he is hoping to convert his cyclocross talents to racing on the road, Stybar will not be abandoning the dirt altogether.

“I'm also thrilled for the chance to defend my country's colours in the MTB race in the 2012 London Olympics,” he said. “I really would like to try this experience. As far as my schedule, I'm taking it one step at a time. I have to learn a lot, almost everything. This is why we've worked out a schedule that doesn't keep me too busy to start with, that gives me time to grow slowly.”

With his transfer to the Belgian superteam not scheduled for almost another six weeks, Stybar has a rather more urgent matter to deal with: the defence of his cyclocross rainbow jersey in St-Wendel, Germany this coming Sunday.

“At the moment, though, all my energy is concentrated on Sunday's World Championships,” he confirmed. “I'm going to do my best to win it, for me and the Telenet-Fidea team. I'll never forget the time I spent with this squad. I started with them in 2005, right there in St. Wendel where I became Under 23 World Champion, and I'll be ending my experience with them once again in that little German town.

“I'd love to leave this important prize as a gift to the team and to our sponsors,” he added. “I'd like to thank everybody for the years we spent together, but I think it's time for me to try my hand at road racing."

Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere was obviously pleased to finally snare the signature of the Czech cyclocross specialist.

“Zdenek is a talented guy whose skills will surely raise the team's technical level,” he said, it was our pleasure to accept his request to road race; he really wants this. At 25 he's at a crucial stage of his sporting life. For our part we're going to try to help him as best we can to approach this new world without burning any stages and without too much pressure, with a schedule that also takes into consideration a learning phase."

Stybar will make his debut on the road for his new Quick Step team in May, either at the Tour of California or the Tour of Belgium.

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