Zdenek Stybar couldn't hold the pace of Nys, Albert and Pauwels. © Bart Hazen

Zdenek Stybar could be heading to Quick Step. File photo © Bart Hazen

by Kat Statman

Zdenek Stybar’s contract with Telenet-Fidea is set to end on March 1st of 2011. Negotiations with Telenet-Fidea as well as other teams have been swimming around the rumor mill all season as he is arguably the most desirable ’crosser in the world right now. Hans Kasteren, Telenet-Fidea manager, worked hard to keep Stybar by offering him one of the most lucrative cyclocross contracts in the pro peloton. Though Stybar was close to signing a deal with the team that gave him his start and has been with him throughout his career, he was not happy with a few pieces of the contract.

Here at Cyclocross Magazine we have caught wind that Stybar is very close to signing a deal for next year, but not with Telenet-Fidea – rather it would be with Quick Step. Quick Step, as well as a host of other road-oriented teams, has shown an interest in the Czech powerhouse both as a ’crosser and a road racer.

Stybar is also clearly interested in this proposal as he is looking to race at a higher level on the road and include the storied spring classics, including Paris Roubaix, in his racing program. Stybar said, “This is a very important decision in my career: I continue in the field, or do I start in a new direction? Some things are not just about money.You need to decide on the feeling sometimes. ”

Will Stybar be able to continue at the top of the ’cross peloton with a full racing schedule alongside the likes of Tom Boonen? Will Stybar become one of the many ’crossers to make a move to the road and only dabble in cyclocross or use ’cross for winter training like Lars Boom? We hope not as watching his last-lap attacks is always inspiring.

At this point there have been no official press releases from Telenet-Fidea, Quick Step or Zdenek Stybar himself, though there have been many reports closely linking Stybar to signing a contract to start on March 1st, 2011, with Quick Step.