The last few months have seen Zdenek Stybar's performances on the road improve rapidly, and the 26-year-old Czech has revealed that he will continue to make road racing his priority over the coming months.
The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider has secured stage wins on the road at the Four Days of Dunkirk and the Tour of Poland this season. Such performances have made him hungry for more and Stybar has stated that he will not jeopardise his prospects of further road success next year by packing too much into his winter cyclo-cross schedule. He has already ruled out the Cyclo-cross World Championships in the USA next February as, he says, the race comes too close to the start of the Classics season. Stybar is a two-time winner of the cyclo-cross world title, taking the crown in 2010 and 2011.
"The world championships in America? It is too late," Stybar told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws. "I can already say now that the cyclo-cross world championships are less important than the Flemish classics."
Stybar is currently in action at the Tour de Wallonie in Belgium, where he lies 17th overall with one stage to go. The race is all part of a grand plan to arrive at the start line of the road world championships in Valkenberg in top condition. He will complete his preparations for that race at the Vuelta a España (Aug 18 - Sep 9), which will be Stybar's first grand tour.
"From now on, everything is in the name of the Worlds in Valkenburg," Stybar said. "After the Tour of Wallonia I will begin my preparation for the Vuelta. This is my first grand tour. In Madrid [where the Vuelta finishes on September 9] I want to be in shape for the start of the Road World Championships."