Two-time Elite World Champ Zdeněk Štybar (Quick Step) made a quick transition from road to cyclocross, winning the first race of the Toi Toi Cup #in Stríbro, the Czech Republic.
The race was a mostly Czech affair, with large domestic field and 13 of the top 14 riders hailing from the host country. Belgian Jan Denuwelaere was the lone foreign racer to break the top ten, finishing in second, over a minute and a half down on the World Champ, and outsprinting Petr Dlask.
Despite a road season in his legs, not much about Štybar looked different other than his bike. The Czech rider no longer rides the Ridley X-Night of his former Telenet / Fidea team, but rather was in a rainbow-clad Merckx cyclocross bike. Might we see more of these bikes in the near future?
Traditionally, this is the cyclocross season opener for Štybar in his home town. 2011-12 will be his last "full" 'cross season, but he promises to do about 10 cx races in the future as a preparation for the spring classics on the road.
25 min Czech TV video - http://bit.ly/nnoWGK , the race starts at about 5 min.