Current cyclo-cross World Champion Zdenek Stybar has added two races to his calendar for October, and will take part in the opening BPost Bank Trofee race, the GP Mario De Clercq in Ronse on October 12, and the Kermiscross in Ardooie on October 16. It will be the Czech rider's first race of the season in the rainbow jersey.
Stybar is set to end his road season at the Tour de l'Eurometropole in the first week of October, but he decided to add the 'cross races after being laid up because of a crash sustained in the Eneco Tour in mid-August.
“The accident I had at the Eneco Tour made me miss the better part of the road season,” Stybar said. “This is why at the end of the season I still have the motivation to race. When I was offered the chance to race in the first two 'cross events of the season I jumped at it."
Stybar had already planned to race a few events in December, but said, "I really want to enjoy these two 'cross events and then disconnect for a while before the start of the new season.”
How much the 'cross fans will see of Stybar's rainbow jersey this season is yet to be decided. “It’s still too soon right now to say where I’ll be and how much I’ll race during next winter," Stybar said. "We’ll make up a schedule with the team like we did last year that will allow me to line up for the start of some cross races before the road racing season gets underway.”
The three-time 'cross World Champion also raced an abbreviated season last winter as he focussed his ambitions toward the Spring Classics on the road, but the reduced schedule didn't stop him from out-gunning Sven Nys to win the world title in Hoogerheide, in the Netherlands earlier this year.