Stybar admitting that change is big from cross to road
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Stybar admitting that change is big from cross to road

by Bjorn Haake at 3:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Czech rider starts out struggling in Four Days of Dunkirk

zdenek stybarReigning cyclocross World Champion Zdenek Stybar admitted that the change from cross to the road is difficult. The talented 25-year-old was picked up by the Quick Step team this year. He has raced on the road in the past, but in events that are smaller than the category 2.HC Four Days of Dunkirk. With Sven Nys and Sven Vanthourenhout, he had at least company from fellow crossers in the peloton.

Stybar is used to race all-out for an hour on dirt trails, but the roads in northern France proved to be just as difficult. "The first two hours I really suffered," Stybar told "It is a really big change for me. It is my first real big race on the road." His experiences in the past were limited to competitions like the Tour of Slovakia, Tour of Serbia or the Tour of Qinghai Lake.

Quick Step has been building up Stybar slowly for his first road race with the Belgian team. "I am here to get into condition for the things to come later," the Czech rider said. "After this race in France I will do the Tour de Picardie, the Tour of Belgium and maybe the Tour of Switzerland."

Stybar may have hoped to ease into the professional road peloton with a relaxed start in Dunkirk, but it wasn't meant to be. The first two hours were quite a heavy load for Stybar. "It was really fast in the group. There was always a number of attacks, with others trying to neutralize them. That kept the pace high." The likeable Czech added with a smile that not all was bad. "For the rest, I am glad to be here!"

He wasn't the only cross racer in attendance, as Landbouwkrediet formed part of the peloton, with Sven Nys and Sven Vanthourenhout in its lineup. "This is my first road race of the year, Nys said. "It always means to check and see how I can get through. End of February I took a short rest period, before building my condition back up."

Nys has opted for a different schedule in 2011. "It is the first time that I race so early in the season. It's logical, as I want to have an optimal preparation for the mountain bike season. Everything is in place for the qualification for the Olympic Games." Nys wants to make the team that heads to London in 2012.


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