domingo, abril 2, 2023

Catching Up with Jayco-AlUla’s Zdeněk Štybar


Rider interview: Zdeněk Štybar has began a brand new chapter of his profession with the Jayco-Alula staff. At one time he was the person to beat on the cyclocross tracks, however he made the transition to the street earlier than it was the modern factor to do. Alastair Hamilton managed to meet up with the Czech rider after too a few years.

We managed to have a chat with Zdeněk Štybar days earlier than the Benidorm World Cup cyclocross

Tom Pidcock, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel have come from the cyclocross world to carry out on the high on the street, but it surely wasn’t that way back that Zdeněk Štybar was World cross champion and successful races just like the Eneco Tour, E3 Basic, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche and phases within the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. Then there was additionally two second locations in Paris Roubaix. After a few years in Patrick Lefevere’s staff, he’s now with the Australian Jayco-Alula formation and using extra cyclocross. It was nicely previous time for a catch-up.

PEZ: So, new staff, what’s it like after… what number of years with Fast-Step, I feel 11 years?
Zdeněk Štybar:
Yeah. 11 or 12? I ended counting.

PEZ: To be with one staff for a very long time after which change. You should discover a distinction?
Sure, however I see it like a optimistic change. Particularly now after being with this staff now for a number of months, then I actually see it as optimistic change. When it grew to become clear that I couldn’t lengthen with Fast-Step I used to be after all, fairly unhappy, as a result of I hoped that I’ll end my profession there. However however, it’s prefer it occurred and truly, I feel I ought to be pleased about that as a result of now I get to know new folks. Like new nationalities, new mentality, completely different manner of labor and likewise they’ve already made for me a pleasant race programme. So I’m actually grateful for that. It’s like a brand new begin once more, new enter. So I’m really excited.

New staff – Optimistic change

PEZ: Change is usually a good factor:
Yeah, now I actually see it as a optimistic change.

PEZ: A one yr contract and can that be it?
I don’t know. I’ve emotions like some years again, , due to the keenness, however we’re solely on the coaching camp, I don’t understand how the races will likely be, how the form will likely be as a result of the final two years had been actually unhealthy for me. I didn’t carry out as I ought to, due to some well being points. And it was all the time very troublesome to return again and all the time after I bought again, then there was one thing new occurring. So I simply hope that this yr I will likely be wholesome and that I can race once more all in good condition.

saudi tour
The identical enthusiasm – Saudi Tour’23

PEZ: Do you continue to have the identical enthusiasm? You continue to need it?
Yeah, after all. In any other case, I wouldn’t be sitting right here. It’s not a difficulty of cash or no matter. It’s actually simply because I felt I nonetheless wish to race, I nonetheless have ambitions. I nonetheless like to go coaching, I nonetheless don’t thoughts to depart residence for a number of weeks. You by no means know when it’ll change, however after I’m right here and once more with new folks, and plenty of younger guys, it offers me a number of motivation and power as nicely.

PEZ: Is that what retains you motivated?
Sure and since you will have a brand new atmosphere. I don’t do a number of various things, as I did up to now, but it surely’s only a completely different atmosphere. It’s after all of the years in Fast-Step, it was additionally a bit of little bit of routine. There was nonetheless all the time one thing new, however the coaching camps had been all the time fairly comparable. Additionally a few years there with the identical riders, which I like after all and I’m good mates with all of the riders, however right here, like now, I’ve met new mates and the group is simply nice. It’s a pleasant mentality on this staff so…

PEZ: And using cross shouldn’t be an issue for the staff?
No. I’ve now executed a number of races and I’ll do the World Cup in Benidorm and I even had it in thoughts to do the World championships, however I made a decision to not do it after the outcomes I’ve had.

Nonetheless loving cross

PEZ: You’ve been having fun with it although?
I did get pleasure from it, however in Koksijde and Zonhoven within the sand, I simply fully misplaced it as a result of I had no time to do any particular coaching. I feel if I actually wish to carry out once more, then I actually have to spend so much of time from summer time on, simply doing correct cyclocross coaching.

PEZ: The final time we spoke to you was a very long time in the past and also you had been having issues along with your shoulder and that was why you didn’t really feel you are able to do as a lot in cross then, is that also the identical?
The factor is, I didn’t race cyclocross for 3 years, I did simply the Worlds, but it surely was only one race, so you may even depend it. So I did nothing for 3 years and I didn’t even do any particular coaching. Up to now I had the situation, so I might simply someway make up for the shortage of the strategies, however now, I simply can’t as a result of the opposite guys, they’re additionally very sturdy they usually have good method. I’m not in my high form and I don’t have the method, so I’m actually dropping loads. And I’m 37. So I’m the oldest on the beginning listing. I didn’t count on to beat them, however for me it was simply all about coaching. Final yr I additionally didn’t race for 4 months, from Roubaix till the Tour of Poland. So I simply had the sensation that I needed to have the race quantity on and I wish to race, I wish to push myself. No matter, nevertheless it goes, I simply wish to do it for myself to push my limits once more. In any other case I’d have too lengthy a interval of simply coaching.

A little bit of showboating

PEZ: You like cyclocross.
After all, I adore it. It’s my ardour. However anyway, I all the time get pleasure from it. Additionally to have so many supporters, it’s additionally actually pretty. It’s like, ‘am I using right here for victory or is Van Aert catching me already that they’re supporting a lot?’ So I actually get pleasure from it that I nonetheless get a lot assist. OK, I didn’t carry out, however I additionally couldn’t count on completely different I bought sick over the New 12 months after which needed to change of the bike from in the future to the following. So anyway, I bought what I needed from it for myself. Now I hope that it’s going to all payoff within the street season.

PEZ: What do you consider cyclocross now? There are the specialists after which the massive three.
However , you all the time must suppose that they’re such an distinctive expertise. They’re successful the most important races of the World on the street, on the mountain bike, time trial, within the sprints and the uphill. So it’s not a shock that also they are successful and dominating cyclocross. What they’ll push, no person can. Truly nearly no person can within the World. So, yeah, then then it’s unhappy for the cyclocross guys, as a result of they give attention to all of it yr lengthy. I additionally don’t suppose that that Wout, Mathieu and Tom are going to do it without end. I feel that in all probability they are going to cease in two years time, as a result of it prices them mentally a lot power that they should say… It’s all yr lengthy and they’re full fuel. You realize it’s enjoyable and it’s good coaching, however I feel that it’s going to value them mentally a number of energy and a number of power that they could miss in the course of the season. So I feel they should make the selection.


PEZ: Do you suppose cyclocross is extra common than earlier than?
You realize, I feel cyclocross has to thank these three guys, as a result of they’re making the race, they’re making it actually thrilling. It’s a present whenever you watch the races, it’s so thrilling. And I feel additionally, as a result of they mix all of the self-discipline collectively, it brings in lot of latest riders. Up to now, there was by no means greater than 100 riders at first, however like, now in Zolder, they needed to cease the registration, as a result of in any other case, they could have even 170 riders at first. I feel it’s due to them, due to Matthew and Wout, they actually present you could mix and you’ll race within the spring and in the summertime. That it’s good coaching. I feel a number of guys wish to copy them. But in addition, I feel for the younger guys, perhaps they suppose, ‘oh, I ought to begin with cyclocross’, they usually perhaps make investments extra time in it they usually gained’t solely give attention to one self-discipline. I feel that may create, from the younger classes, a brand new spirit or a brand new method to work.

PEZ: Do you suppose Remco Evenepoel is lacking one thing that cyclocross might have taught him, like his bike dealing with?
He’s a special sort of rider, as a result of he was doing soccer, the others had been doing cyclocross. The others they’ll’t play pretty much as good soccer as him. When you put him in among the finest groups on this planet now, he’ll in all probability nonetheless play recreation. I don’t suppose that he’s such a foul bike handler, he improved loads and I feel all people can see that. However, he went from juniors on to WorldTour, so didn’t have as a lot time on the bike. So you may’t count on from a child of 19 years that he can deal with the bike like the opposite guys who’ve had 10 years on the bike. So I feel that’s simply logical.

PEZ: However cyclocross offers a rider that expertise and expertise.
Additionally the observe and cyclocross and mountain bike. From every self-discipline, you are taking one thing for the longer term.

World cross champ

PEZ: This will likely be your 18th years as a professional, you could have seen a number of adjustments?
It’s troublesome to say as a result of, for me, it was by no means actually like a giant change, it was slowly coming. I remembered the primary time I had disc brakes in cyclocross, in all probability, I don’t dare to say, perhaps 2008 or 2009, nonetheless with cables, not hydraulic. Then they began with tubeless and with wider tyres and completely different coaching and energy meters, all these items. They’re massive adjustments, however they got here slowly, I nonetheless have a few of these outdated bikes and after I see them and I see the bikes now we have now, I feel there was some evolution.

PEZ: You bear in mind the outdated cantilever and ‘V’ brakes?
After all. Even as we speak, I nonetheless have some difficulties as a result of I grew up on the conventional brakes. So yeah.


PEZ: And what about Zwift? Do you utilize Zwift?
To be sincere, as a result of I accomplish that a lot cyclocross and within the unhealthy climate, I simply go into the forest. Particularly throughout lockdown, so many riders and other people study to trip inside. I nonetheless favor to go outdoors. However completely, if there are some particular intervals, particularly within the winter if you find yourself at residence, and it’s actually unhealthy, it’s the simplest method to get the job executed. I feel it helps a number of guys to get by the winter, as a result of they’ll do nonetheless a number of high quality coaching on it and it’s some enjoyable. They’ll examine or they’ll practice with another guys and push themselves a bit more durable. So I’m completely not towards it. It’s good coaching.

PEZ: Have you learnt your race schedule but?
I’ll begin in Saudi after which I’ll do all of the classics till Amstel, usually Roubaix Amstel. Additionally Strade after which we’ll see. A lot the identical as all the time.

2022 World gravel championships

PEZ: What about gravel?
The World championships had been enjoyable (Štybar completed eighth).

PEZ: However there’s the gravel in Europe, just like the Worlds after which there’s the gravel within the US.
I haven’t executed any gravel in America, so I can’t actually examine. I feel lots of people will prefer it increasingly. You’ll be able to simply go into forest and now it’s additionally really easy with to plan the route. So even the routes that you simply don’t know you may simply decide from A to B and it exhibits you the gravel roads, that makes it enjoyable. Additionally when there’s unhealthy climate, it’s simpler to go on the gravel. If folks stay someplace near the cities, it’s all the time simpler to keep away from the site visitors. I’m not that usually within the Czech Republic, sadly, however there’s additionally so many gravel roads, undergo the forest and no vehicles, simply nature. So I actually suppose that it has a giant future.

Preparing for the 2023 season

PEZ: Do you suppose the European gravel, just like the Worlds, and the American gravel, they’re fairly completely different. Have they got a future collectively?
I feel it relies upon who will do it? The UCI have the World Championship, so it’d get very aggressive and there’ll perhaps be solely gravel groups, {and professional} gravel groups, , and, after which it is going to be efficiency sensible. It’d lose a bit of little bit of the appeal, however however, I feel there’s such an enormous public for the gravel, if there are these large occasions, then perhaps the primary 50 guys will actually go full out and others they are going to simply get pleasure from it, nonetheless they are going to push themselves however in several manner. It’s actually cool on these occasion, there are a 1000 folks, I feel it’ll all the time appeal to a number of riders. I feel it’s troublesome to say as a result of it’s additionally perhaps extra like a life-style.

PEZ: Do you will have a handlebar bag?
No, no, no. I didn’t go that far. However many guys have began to make use of one.

Successful Het Nieuwsblad 2019

PEZ: Do you suppose the younger guys, like Evenepoel, will nonetheless be racing when they’re 37?
I feel you may see two methods. Now when they’re juniors, it’s like life-style, they don’t know anything. They simply trip yr by yr and I feel that they could additionally race till they’re 35. However perhaps they are going to attain their peak sooner and likewise they are going to go from their peak quicker. It’s such a giant punishment for the physique, from the juniors to elite, so perhaps at a later age they are going to wrestle a bit extra with accidents as a result of the physique will likely be overload quicker. However however, I feel that the most important wrestle would be the psychological level, particularly for the very profitable riders. After I see what goes round Remco already, since he’s 19, it’s simply loopy. Now he’s gained the Vualta and the Worlds. They attempt to shield him. However at some second, it is likely to be an excessive amount of, if you happen to shield him or not, it simply is likely to be an excessive amount of. Additionally with the opposite younger riders, simply because the stress is so excessive, there’s a lot to do in addition to the coaching. They’re younger, so that they don’t give it some thought, however after some years of overloading the physique and having much less time to recuperate, to relaxation, perhaps they could have shorter careers. However, they began like this they usually don’t know any completely different.

They’re residing the lifetime of a World Tour rider from when they’re juniors. Perhaps they are going to shorten their profession by three or 4 years. Now on common the riders are stopping round my age 36, 37, 38. So perhaps they could cease at 35 or 34. Nevertheless it gained’t be like they cease at 30. I don’t imagine that.

PEZ: What do you consider having a cyclocross race in Benidorm, Spain?
I feel it’s nice, there will likely be a number of Belgians there, for certain. I feel it’s offered out.

worlds cross
Worlds cross podium 2014

# Good luck and a giant due to Zdeněk for the interview and to Geoffrey Pizzorni of Jayco Alula for setting it up. #

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