Zdenek Stybar of Team Etixx QuickStep is not yet sure whether he will participate in the cyclo-cross race at the end of the year. Stybar is indeed new to the World Championships. He is indeed, only a beginner in the World Championship experience compared to more popular names like Alexander Kristoff and Peter Sagan. However, the 29 year old rider will give his best shot at the medals.
Stybar’s team does not provide the same facilities as many more advanced nations do in terms of cycling. With a team of only six riders, the Czech team has to depend on the other teams to plan their gameplay. Petr Vakoc’s injury at the stage 3 crash in the Tour of Britain has been heavy on the team because he is one of the key riders for the team. Vakoc has won stage 2 of the Tour before crashing bad the very next day. The rider is being given enough care so that he can have the fractured finger and other injuries healed before the World Championship. Stybar believes that his team has a good shot at victory and fully trusts the competence of each of its members.
Roman Kreuziger is another team member who deserves mention for his strong ride. Stybar also acknowledges the skills of the younger members of the team and believes that the lineup is great overall. At the beginning of the stage 3 of the Tour of Britain, Stybar told CyclingNews that he thinks this is the first time ever that the Czech team is coming up strong at the World Championships.
Apart from the three riders mentioned, the team will have 30 year old Jan Barta, who is currently riding for the Bora Argon 18 Team. Two new riders, Jiri Polnick and Karel Hnik are the 5th and 6th members of the final team. Hnik is a 24 year old rider currently riding for Cult Energy Pro Cycling. He has been a member of the amateur team of Etixx in 2014. Polnick on the other hand is a 25 year old rider whose last team was Whirlpool Author. Stybar has been announced as the leader of the team and Vakoc is a crucial member despite his injuries.
Stybar is following the same strategy as MTN Qhubeka’s Tyler Farrar. He is using the Tour of Britain races to practice for the World Championship beginning at the end of the month. Despite not having had much practice this year, except for the Czech Cycling Tour, Stybar feels he is improving and is positive about his performance at the World Championship. The rider’s performance has been indeed improving as he is consistently going up from the 42nd position in stage 1 of the Tour of Britain, to the 19th position in stage 2 and 14th in the stage 3. He finished 32nd in the current stage 4 but has the 13th place in the general classification by the middle of the Tour.
The Czech rider is very positive about the World Championship despite the unfortunate last few years with two major crashes and is putting in all the efforts to give shape to his claims.