Zdenek Stybar: A Misstep for Quick-Step?

Copyright Team Quick-Step/Tim De Waele

Here’s this morning’s Press Release from Quick-Step, officially welcoming new-signee Zdenek Stybar:

As of today, Zdenek Stybar is a rider for the Quick-Step Cycling Team. The strong Czech rider is the reigning world champion in cycle cross, and he posed exclusively for the team in his new jersey, under the studious eye of team photographer Tim De Waele.

“As of today I’m officially an integral part of the team” said Stybar “After a period of rest, these next few days I’m going to start training on the road. To wear this jersey, even just for the photo shoot, was very exciting. I can’t wait to wear the team colors on the road, too. I’m going to start competing in the month of May. My main goal in this first year on road will be to understand how to act on asphalt. I’ve got a lot to learn but fortunately I’m on a major team, surrounded by athletes and staff with tons of experience that are going to help me on this journey.”

For the occasion Stybar also posed in his new cyclocross World Champion’s jersey, the title he won just a few weeks ago at Sankt Wendel (GER), at the end of a spectacular race.

“In addition to road racing, I’m also going to be competing in the cyclocross season, where I can wear my champion’s jersey. We still haven’t worked out an official schedule, but I think I’ll be able to combine both activities well. If I manage my training right I can be competitive in cross, and as of next year, on the road, too.”

What are your thoughts on Stybie’s new venture? He has virtually no results to speak of on the road—has the Czech done enough—in your opinion—to warrant such a move?

Share your comments below.

About Whit

My experiences might easily fit many cycling fans' definitions of “living the dream.” Since getting hooked on the sport watching Lance Armstrong win the 1993 U.S. Pro Championship, I've raced as an amateur on Belgian cobbles, traveled Europe to help build a European pro team, and piloted that team from Malaysia to Mont Ventoux. As a former assistant director sportif with Mercury-Viatel, I've also seen the less dreamy side of the sport – the side rife with broken contracts, infighting, and positive dope tests. These days, I live with my lovely wife in Pennsylvania and share my experiences and views on the sport at Bicycling Magazine, the Embrocation Cycling Journal, and at my own site, Pavé.
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5 Responses to Zdenek Stybar: A Misstep for Quick-Step?

  1. Inner Ring says:

    Don't forget the team's new Czech co-owners. They wanted Stybar and have paid for him. But the infusion of cash also gave them options on Steegmans and future recruitment. It's as much about money as it is rider recruitment.

    Here's hoping he can surprise on the road and he's certainly one to watch. Should he fail on the road (in relative terms), he'll bring in plenty of publicity during the winter with his cross wins.

  2. lieutenantmudd says:

    So does QS have to built a cross team now? I'm not even sure how cross works, does Stybar even need teammates?

  3. Jeff B says:

    God or bad, I think it's a necessary move for QS. The team needed financial backing (the Czechs mentioned by INRNG) and they don't exactly have a wealth of predictable or consistent talent on the team. If I'm reevaluating my sponsorship as the marketing guy at Quick Step, this at least tells me that the team isn't content to languish and if they get downgraded to Pro-Cont status next year, they have a plan B.

  4. Mattio says:

    lieutenantmudd – they won't have to, but we'll see what they do. CX racers sometimes work in teams, but it's a far more individual race than a road race.

  5. Yossarian12 says:

    I think when cycling fans hear of a crosser coming over to the road, we naturally think of classics success (particularly the cobbled classics). But, I don't think that should be the case. Even last year, Lars Boom, who is more of an all round cycling talent rather than a crosser, said his cross experience really gave him no advantage on the pave. I think in order for Styby to have success on the road, it all comes down to development. Part of that development will be determining where his physical talents lie. A 60-minute cross race is much more similar physiologically to a TT, and the racing can be very similar to a criterium. If I were in the Styby camp, I would look to how Theo Bos developed for the road. He started out learning by riding small races, particularly stage races, and only last season (his second on the road) did he move over to some of the bigger races. I would predict Styby ends up being a stage hunter in small stage races such as the Brixia Tour, Tour of Belgium, maybe Eneco, Tour of Turkey, etc. It will be interesting to watch.

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