Thursday, September 2, 2010
One of my favorite moments of cycling lore and legend involves Swiss superstar Thomas Frischknecht at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. On July 30, 1996 Frischknecht earned a silver medal in the mountain bike event. One day later, with a slot on the Swiss road squad suddenly vacant due to the last minute withdrawl of Tony Rominger, Frischknecht slapped some road wheels on his Ritchey ‘cross bike and rocked the road race. The 26-year-old Swiss survived the 222km event to finish 110th, 4:08 behind compatriot and gold medalist Pascal Richard, for likely the first and last time a cyclist competed in both the road and mountain bike events at a single Olympics.
Fast forward to the 2010 Tour of Slovakia and a certain Czech ‘cross world champion with a similar mindset.
Exhibit A: Zdenek Stybar reigns supreme at the Tour of Slovakia. Photo by Patrik Pátek.
Zdenek Stybar scorched the 1.3km prologue on Tuesday to claim the Tour of Slovakia’s first leader’s jersey and then tried to defend his lead Wednesday in the 176.8km opening stage.
[Oh hell yeah] On his ‘cross bike.
Exhibit B: What the… Photo by Patrik Pátek.
Not only is Stybar resplendent in yellow, but the reigning ‘cross world champion is getting in some dismount practice out on the road while his fellow competitors wonder if they’re hallucinating.
On the opening road stage Stybar finished fourth in the same time as winner Alexander Porsev, but the Russian took over the race lead due to the winner’s time bonus. No matter, though, as Stybar took it right back today.
Let it rip Zdenek.