Štybar aiming for London mountain bike start

Cross world champion looking for Czech Olympic slot

Zdeněk Štybar is expected to contest next month’s national mountain bike championships in the Czech Republic, with the cyclo-cross rider aiming to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games mountain bike event. The current cyclo-cross world champion has been contesting road events in Serbia and Belgium to keep up his fitness.

“I would like to perform well so that my slecection for the 2012 Olympics in London is in place,” Štybar told Sport.be.

While Štybar’s career to date has been heavily focused on cyclo-cross, he’s also had some success competing on the road, which he uses to maintain his fitness. In 2007 he finished second on a Tour of Qinghai Lake stage, the same year he claimed two stage podiums at Volta Ciclista Internacional a Lleida.

Štybar’s switch to road racing was delayed this year after having an operation to remove a cyst. He is due to contest a mountain bike event in Sankt Vith, Belgium, on Friday, before contesting the national championships on July 17. His race calendar also includes the Swiss MTB World Cup round later in the month.

Former junior European mountain bike champion Jaroslav Kulhavý represented the Czech Republic at the last games in Beijing, China. Kulhavý, who is of similar age to Štybar and dabbles in cyclo-cross racing, finished in 18th place at the 2008 event.

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