Czech cyclist Zdeněk Štybar has signed a new one-year contract in the leading team Deceuninck-Quick Step. The 35-year-old road professional was awaiting a twelfth consecutive season in the elite Belgian team, where he has worked his entire career in WorldTour since 2011.
The two sides agreed to continue their cooperation, despite the seasoned Czech national team having had a difficult season.
“I’m happy to be able to stay with the team. It will be my twelfth year here, which in itself is a success. I think I will end my career here every few years,” said Stybar.
“I am very grateful to be able to continue in the team, even in view of the situation in which I found myself”, recalled the Czech rider, operated during the season due to heart problems and fearing a possible end of career. .
Additionally, health issues disrupted its schedule last year, when the coronavirus crisis drastically affected the shape of the racing schedule.
“Last year I lost the Tour de France due to knee problems and for the same reason I was not in my best shape or in the classics,” said Stybar.
“I came back this year and felt great at E3 Harelbeke, but then I had heart rhythm problems in Ghent-Wevelgem. It was a difficult year and I had to start from scratch,” said Stybar.
On his return from surgery and a two-month break on his bike, he was injured in the Dwars door het Hageland’s unique race in Belgium on the first start, which he did not finish after the accident.
“And that made my return to the peloton even more difficult. But the Vuelta helped me, it was a step I needed to get in shape before the World Cup,” he said. .
“I thought everything would be okay. And I was happy that those months of hard work ended up somewhere. At first it looked like a disaster at first, but it ended well. It was mentally exhausting, but I became amazing the support from the team, ”thanked Stybar, who finished seventh in the road race at the World Championships in Belgium.
Patrick Lefevere, the head of the stable, appreciated the fact that he would remain among his guards. “We are happy to continue together on this journey that we started over a decade ago,” he said.
“Zdeněk is one of the most experienced peloton runners and an important member of our team; a real wolf who will always do his best for his team. He has a lot of quality in him, as evidenced by his past triumphs. And we are sure that next year can achieve great results for the team, ”added the leader of the team nicknamed“ Wolf Pack ”.
The three-time cyclocross world champion in 2010, 2011 and 2014, Tybar admitted that he still dreams of two triumphs – he would like to win the monument Autour des Flandres or Paris-Roubaix, where he finished twice second.
“My goal is the whole period when the classics will take place. And I would also like to come back to the Tour de France,” said Štybar, who has not released the famous single Paris-Roubaix this year, although ‘he finally experienced bad weather in early October, which was a record for him.
“I couldn’t wait, but I didn’t feel good during the race itself. At one point I had a cold and stomach issues, I couldn’t speed up or do anything. And on this day you need luck and strong legs to be successful “Nothing can go wrong,” he realized.
In the playoffs, he was mostly looking forward to spending time with his family, but he also planned to return to cyclocross racing.
“Just because I love cyclocross. It’s also great preparation and I always enjoy the great atmosphere there with the fans. It’s similar to the Leuven Championship, but you will get that great feeling in every race. on smaller circuits, “tybar waited impatiently.
If he will be thirty-six in December, he does not yet think about the end of his career. Recently, other Czech road aces Petr Vakoč and Roman Kreuziger finished.
“I have no idea when I’ll finish. Sometimes there will be good times, other times worse times. But I’ll probably ride the bike forever. When I’m not on it, I miss it,” a admitted the Czech star.
“I crossed the road in force in 2013, maybe that’s why I want to keep driving. I think that would be enough, but I haven’t had that feeling yet,” assured me. Štybar.
In his career so far he has achieved great victories at Strade Bianche (2015), Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and E3 Harelbeke (both in 2019), but he has also won stage laurels at La Vuelta (2013) and the Tour de France (2015).
The Deceuninck – Quick-Step stable is owned by Zdeněk Bakala, who is part ofcurrently owner of the Economia publishing house, which also includes the Aktuálně.cz website.
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