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Czech champion Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) proved he's still a force to be reckoned with on a 'cross bike as he rides to a 3rd place finish at the Heusden-Zolder World Cup round.
Two-time champion to wait until 48 hours before race
Zdenek Stybar won’t make his decision on contesting the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships until 48 hours before the race starts. The elite men’s event will take place on February 2 in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands.
Over the last year the 2010 and 2011 cyclo-cross world champion has shifted his focus to the road, highlighted in 2013 by a stage victory at the Vuelta a Espana plus a stage victory and overall win at the Eneco Tour. Nonetheless, Stybar looked in good form when he beat Rob Peeters at the Versluys Cyclocross Bredene at the end of December in the midst of a brief, six-race block of 'cross events which concluded on January 1, 2014 at the GP Sven Nys. With the cyclo-cross world championships so close to home, Stybar has been able to hold off on his decision to race Worlds a little longer.
“The main challenge for Zdenek is that he lives only six kilometres from the circuit where the world championships will take place,” his coach Stanislav Bambula said at a press conference on Tuesday. “The final decision belongs only to himself, according to the weather and other criteria.”
Stybar’s main goals this season will be on the road once again. He is aiming to peak at the Spring Classics, with priority on Paris-Roubaix. He finished sixth in the 2013 edition, but was in the lead group until a he clipped a fan with a camera and couldn’t make up the gap.