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Zdenek Stybar to join Quick Step, may race Tour of California

2010-11 World Cup-Hoogerheide, Zdenek Stybar
Stybar at last weekend's cyclocross World Cup, where he finished fourth. Photo: Dan Seaton

The Czech Republic’s world cyclocross champion, Zdenek Stybar, will join the Quick Step road team March 1 and may make his road debut with the team at the Tour of California or the Tour of Belgium, the team announced Tuesday

The 25 year old will first defend his ‘cross world championships this Sunday in St. Wendel, Germany.

“Personally it’s a dream come true,” Stybar said in the team statement. “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.  I’ve won a lot in cyclocross but I really wanted to try this experience.”

Stybar said he does not intend to quit cyclocross and also hopes to race the mountain bike cross country event at the 2012 London Olympics.

“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. At the moment, though, all my energy is concentrated on Sunday’s world championships. I’m going to do my best to win it, for me and Telenet-Fidea team … I’d love to leave this important prize as a gift to the team and to our sponsors. 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.”

The Quick Step team was rescued this fall by Czech businessman Zdenek Bakala.

“For Czech Republic is a great thing, he’ll surely promote the movement in our country, too,” Stybar said. “I don’t know Mr. Bakala personally, but I can’t wait to meet him. It’s going to be really exciting.”

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