HLINSKO, CZECH REPUBLIC – Reigning world champ Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) continues to pull out impressive performances as he’s shown that his form has returned after tendinitis forced him to take a mid-season break away from competition. Although Stybar’s 19 year-old teammate Karel Hnik held the lead early, Stybar took over the lead on the first lap and held that position the rest of the way on the muddy, heavy course.

Jaroslav Kulhavy kept Stybar close for much of the race, but the pace took its toll, and may have cost him a silver medal. Hats off the Kulhavy, the silver medalist in the World Cross Country MTB Championship as well as the title winner in the European championship XC event, for pushing one of the best in the business for as long as he did. Martin Zlamalik kept a steadier pace, however, and managed to move into second and solidify that position, building a gap of over 20 seconds by the end.

Radomir Simunek (BKCP-Powerplus), who has taken wins in Scheldecross and the Velka Cena Mesta Tabora this year, and may have proven Stybar’s biggest challenge, did not make the start due to his recent broken collarbone. Martin Bina (Budweiser-Budvar), another strong regular on the World Cup circuit, also did not take the start due to an injury.

“I’m really proud of this,” Zdenek said shortly after the race. “I don’t know how many Czechs have managed to be [national] champion five times, but I’m well placed in the list. The seven titles won by Radomir Simunek senior remain a goal, but let me enjoy this title for a little while.”

Styby also acknowledged via his website the many cyclocross fans who made the trip to line the race course: “I know it’s not easy to reach Hlinsko. It’s 50 kilometers from the highway, and to get here you have to go on some pretty crazy roads. My fans from Stribro made the trip, and I’m extremely thankful for that.”

Stybar reports that he’s headed to Mallorca, Spain, for one final training camp before the final push towards defending he title at the World Championships in St Wendel, Germany.

Complete Results coming soon!

Brief Results:

1Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team
2Martin Zlámalík (Cze) Sunweb – Revor0:00:53
3Jaroslav Kulhavy0:01:19
4Petr Dlask (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team
5David Kášek (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor
6Vladimír Kyzivát (Cze) Johnson Controls Aš Mb
7Tomas Paprtska
8Karel Hník (Cze) Telenet-Fidea Cycling Team
9Ondrej Bambula (Cze) Cyklo Team Budvar Tábor
10Lubomir Petrus (Cze)