Zdenek was on the bike for 3½ hours Thursday and is hopeful for the races this weekend, but he hopes there won't be too much running.
Our world champion has been struggling with a knee injury since the Hamme-Zogge cross, which was partly due to a back blockage he suffered during training camp in Mallorca. So this week was completely dedicated to rehabilitation.
The GvA race in Hasselt is on Saturday, followed by the Superprestige race in Gavere on Sunday.
Zdenek must defend his lead in the GvA Trophy standings in Hasselt following the competition's first two races in Namen and the Koppenberg. Limburg was again faced with flooding this week and the local pond has more than doubled in volume, so it's set to be another cross on difficult ground. “I really hope there won't be as much running as there was in Hamme-Zogge. I already have less pain when I ride and the cryo-human, which I started today, should really help me,” Styby said.
It was mainly the parts of the course that had to be done on foot that hampered our world champion on the muddy course in Hamme. “During the race I was able to push through, but on Monday I couldn't bear it anymore. The inflammation diagnosis didn't come as a surprise. This week I worked really hard on my rehabilitation with Wim and Vincet (physiotherapist and doctor respectively).”
“I trained with the team twice on Wednesday. There was a cross training in the morning and in the late afternoon we were on the road. I stayed on the bike the whole day and didn't look for any areas to do on foot.”
There isn't much time for recovery after Hasselt as Asper-Gavere, another “classic”, awaits on Sunday. The course around the Grenier castle will be difficult as usual, but there will likely be fewer areas that will have to be done on foot compared to Hasselt or Hamme-Zogge.
The current Superprestige standings see Zdenek in second place, just one point behind Sven Nys. “I'll go all out in both crosses. There's no point in taking it easier on Saturday to conserve for Sunday. I'm not like that. Obviously I don't know how how I'll recover after Hasselt. I don't have a crystal ball, but I'm particularly hopeful. In any case my condition is tiptop.”
Zdenek can take a lot of comfort in last year's results. He was third in Gavere in 2009 and in Hasselt he snatched victory away from teammate Kevin Pauwels.