The Czech national title is at stake this Saturday in Hlinsko. Zdenek is the favorite and looking for his fifth gold medal. “But it won't be gifted to me,” he says. “I know all too well that I'm at the top of the list, but I have a lot of respect for the competition.”
The Czechs will fight it out for the national title a day before the Belgians and Dutch. Following last year's race in Tabor, Hlinsko has the honor of organizing the Czech championship for a third time this year. “I haven't been on the course yet, but I know there's a lot of snow there at the moment. For now anyway because they're saying it's going to be five degrees so I'm expecting a mud pool.
The only Czech able to beat Styby this year was Radomir Simunek who will not start the race due to a broken collarbone. “It's a shame,” our champion admitted, “I'd rather have everyone at the start. But anyway, I think I'll have my hands full with Martin Zlamalik, among others. I'm not going to be gifted the victory. Maybe they'll ride on my wheel.”
Radomir Simunek Sr. is currently the record holder with seven national titles to his name. “And I currently have four,” Zdenek knows. “Perhaps it's a goal to equal his record or even break it. But that's all still very far away. I'm not looking for number seven, but number five.”
And the supporters will be doing their part. The supporters club from Stribro will be there in large numbers to cheer Styby to the title. “It's very nice because I don't often get a chance to show my rainbow jersey to my own public. My regular mechanics came over from Belgium. My girlfriend Ine remains back in Belgium.”
And after the championship? “I'll immediately leave for Vienna. I'll spend the night there and head to Mallorca the next morning.”