Update: Zdeněk Štybar won the 2014 Cyclocross World Championships in Hoogerheide, just his seventh cyclocross race of the season. See the bike he used to win his third world title below:
Zdenek Stybar at the front of the 2013 Heusden-Zolder World Cup. © Cyclocross Magazine
After his successful cyclocross season debut during Christmas week, Zdeněk Štybar, the two-time World Champion from the Czech Republic said he would remain open to racing the 2014 World Championships in Hoogerheide, but would make a last-minute decision. Now the former World Champ is back at Worlds again after skipping Louisville last year.
The last time the World Championships was held in Hoogerheide, way back in 2009, Štybar finished a strong second, just 22 seconds behind winner Niels Albert, and ahead of Sven Nys.
Zdeněk Štybar wanted to decide at the last minute on his Worlds participation, party due to potential road obligations and partly due to not wanting to race in really sloppy conditions. Although a steady rain is expected Friday night, “Styby” should still be one of the favorites, and five years later after the last Hoogerheide Worlds we could possibly see a repeat of the same podium, with all three racers returning to the Dutch city to battle this Sunday. [See our 2014 Cyclocross World Championships men's preview and favorites here.]
In Hoogerheide we snapped some photos of Štybar’s bike right before course inspection. The Czech rider is now is a full-fledged star on the road with Omega Pharma – Quick Step, where he rides Specialized road bikes, and he returns to cyclocross also on a Specialized bike in the form of the S-Works CruX.
Zdenek Stybar’s Specialized S-Works CruX cyclocross bike with SRAM Red 10-speed, Zipp 404 wheels and Service Course SL cockpit, and Avid Shorty Ultimate cantilevers. © Thomas van Bracht / Cyclocross Magazine
In the two years since his departure has a full-time cyclocrosser, technology has changed quite a bit, with disc brakes, 11-speed and SRAM Yaw front derailleurs, but Štybar eschews all of those “upgrades.”