Two-time world cyclocross champion Zdenek Stybar will not contest the 2013 worlds in Louisville, Kentucky, his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team confirmed on Monday.
Stybar, who is training on Mallorca with his team, will start the Bpost Bank Trofee Grand Prix Rouwmoer in his Belgian hometown of Essen on December 22 and will race through the Czech national championships on January 12 in his native Stribro.
“It’s in my nature to take these events very seriously. It won’t be easy because I will have to measure up against the best specialists in the world, but I’m going to try to do my best for me and my fans, to whom I promise to give it my all in hopes of obtaining worthy results,” said Stybar in a release. “I’m convinced that re-embracing the world of cyclocross and its supporters, if only for a few races, will be magical. Normally, considering my current UCI ranking in cyclocross, I should manage to stay on the front lines for the starts, and this is without a doubt an advantage.”
Stybar will also contest the World Cup round in Zolder, Belgium, on December 26, the Bpost Bank Trofee Azencross in Loenhout on December 28, the Versluys cyclocross in Bredene on December 29, the nighttime Superprestige at Diegem on December 30, and the Bpost Bank Trofee Grand Prix Sven Nys in Baal on January 1.
“My detour into cyclo cross this year will be shorter than usual, but this doesn’t make it any less interesting,” said Stybar. “For example, for the first time in my career I will take on three races in a row, a new experience for me. I want to try to do as many races as possible to test myself, even in the framework of a national championship. After the championships I will concentrate exclusively on road racing. So I will sacrifice the cyclocross world championships. It was a tough choice, but one I had to make. To prepare for the worlds I would have to focus wholeheartedly on cyclocross, at the risk of not obtaining satisfactory results anyway. As I’ve said before on various occasions, in 2013 I’m going to concentrate exclusively on road racing. My debut? Most probably it will be in Mallorca in the beginning of February. With the team we are still working out the details of my schedule.”