Raising the bar
Zdenek Stybar didn’t just raise his arms aloft as he won the World Cup cyclocross race Sunday in Liévin, France.
The Czech rider and reigning world cyclocross champion on the Omega Pharma® – Quick-Step® Cycling Team also paid tribute to the machine that helped him cross that finish line first.
In the closing meters of his first World Cup win of the season, Stybar kissed the Zipp® Service Course® SL handlebars on his pink Specialized®. After the finish, he lifted the entire bike in celebration – the durable Firecrest wheels, dependable Service Course handlebars and stem, lightweight SL Speed™ seatpost and SRAM® RED drivetrain.
The victory was an important one for Stybar as he prepares for his title defense at the UCI Cyclocross World Championships on Jan. 29 in Koksijde, Belgium. It also was an impressive follow up to his victory in the recent Czech national championship.
Indeed, Stybar came to France last Sunday mainly for training but quickly found himself in the race’s decisive move. The victory was sealed when Belgian Kevin Pauwels fell on the stairs and Stybar soloed home.
“The most important thing, anyway, is the fact that I'm improving day in and day out as the Worlds gets closer and closer. The victory in the National Championship gave me confidence, as does the fantastic feeling I get from the team,” Stybar said.
“The new bike has been a big part of that fantastic feeling and confidence. It’s important to know you’re riding the best equipment possible right down to the efficient fit of the Zipp bars, stem and seatpost,” Stybar added. “Zipp’s Firecrest wheels provide me with effective options that provide speed but also durability and stability for any race, no matter the course or conditions.”
Other Zipp-sponsored athletes continue to refine their form before the World Championship showdown in Koksijde. Zipp-sponsored pros Christian Heule of Switzerland was 20th and Americans Ryan Trebon 22nd and Jamey Driscoll 30th.
On the women’s side, Caroline Mani of France – riding Zipp 303 wheels, Service Course SL bars, stem and seatpost, SRAM RED and Avid® Shorty Ultimate™ brakes – finished a strong fourth in the women’s World Cup in Liévin, France. Young American talent Kaitie Antonneau rode her Cannondale with 303 wheels, Service Course SL, SRAM RED and Avid Shorty Ultimate to 16th place.