Zdenek Stybar: “At the end of 2013 I’ll choose between road and cross”
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Friday, September 30, 2011

Zdenek Stybar: “At the end of 2013 I’ll choose between road and cross”

by Ben Atkins at 3:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
 
World champion to focus on both sports until his contract with Quick Step expires

zdenek stybarZdenek Stybar (Quick Step) is planning a full season of cyclocross this winter, despite having raced on the road all year, according to Het Nieuwsblad. He knows though, that he won’t be able to ride both branches of the sport for much longer. The 26-year old World champion was used to riding some road races, to maintain fitness in the summer ahead of each cyclocross season, but since signing for the ProTeam has had a fuller programme than before.

He is currently resting, having injured his knee after a race in the Czech Republic at he weekend, but expects to return to racing in time for the Superprestige race in Ruddervoorde on October 9th.

The Czech’s road programme this year began well, with third place overall in the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque, but the WorldTour races of the Tour de Suisse and the Eneco Tour proved to be a tougher proposition altogether. Despite this, he will still be aiming to do well in this winter’s cyclocross World Cup, the GvA Trofee, and the Superprestige series.

“I’m planning to go for all three competitions this season,” he said in an interview with the cyclocross special edition of the Belgian Sport magazine, “but if I get behind in any of the standings then I might skip a race here or there.

“I’ve ridden a full road programme and I don’t know how my body will react. In November it might transpire that I’m not fresh and need to rest. I’d have to cut back my programme to get back to the top; also with a view to the road season in 2012.”

Riding a full road programme, followed by a season of cyclocross, will effectively mean that Stybar would have to stay somewhere near top form for the entire year. This is something that very few riders manage to do in the modern sport, where most specialise in one part of the sport or another, and he knows that sooner or later he will have to make a decision.

“At the end of 2013, when my contract with Quick Step expires, I’ll make the final choice between road a cyclocross,” he explained. “I won’t be able to carry on combining the two sports.

“By 2013 I want to feel that I can win races on the road,” he confirmed, “otherwise it’s better to stay as a cyclocross rider.”

‘Styby’ successfully defended his World title in Sankt-Wendel in January; the race is to be held on the Dunes of Koksijde, in north west Flanders this coming January – where Stybar won in 2009 on his way to winning that season’s World Cup – and a victory there would make him the first triple World champion since Roland Liboton in the early eighties.

Even this accolade though, would not make him alter his strategy in the coming seasons.

“Even if I’m World champion in Koksijde, noting will change my plans,” he said. “Next winter I’ll change my cyclocross programme, but how many races I will ride I don’t know. Maybe it’ll be my last chance to go all out in cycling; I might be leaving behind some beautiful things in cyclocross, but you have to make choices in life.”

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