This article originally published on BikeRadar
Though a skilled cyclo-cross racer with two world championship victories already to his name, Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider Zdenek Stybar was thought by many to be an unlikely contender for this year's UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships. He'd participated in only six cyclo-cross races this season, clustered tightly together in late December, prior to pinning on a number for the Worlds last Sunday in Hoogerheide, Netherlands. Due to a relative dearth of UCI points Stybar's start position, critical in 'cross racing, was three rows behind race favorites Sven Nys and Lars van der Haar.
But it appears the many miles Stybar's been logging in Mallorca, Spain, in preparation for the Spring Classics, are beginning to pay off. The 28-year-old Czech racer quickly powered from his third row start position to the head of affairs to battle Nys for victory aboard his Specialized S-Works CruX.
Not the latest for the greatest
Despite his victory on the rough and rutted Hoogerheide course, cyclo-cross is no longer Stybar's focus - a fact made evident by his 'cross bikes. While most of Stybar's competitors ride bikes outfitted with the latest 11-speed groups, older 10-speed SRAM Red kits are mounted to Stybar's S-Works Crux framesets.
Stybar's carbon S-Works CruX framesets are kitted out with nearly same components as when we last profiled his pink alloy CruX in 2012.
In addition to the 10-speed SRAM Red group, Stybar runs the very capable Avid Shorty Ultimate cantilever brakes set in the narrow position for increased stopping power. His cockpit consists of a Zipp Service Course handlebar and stem with a carbon Zipp Service Course SL Speed carbon seatpost with a Specialized S-Works Toupe saddle. Wheels are also provided by Zipp in the form of the 404 Firecrests. On race day Stybar opted to run Dugast Rhino treads front and rear.