How we recorded Life in the Saddle podcast with Zdeněk Štybar

How we recorded Life in the Saddle podcast with Zdeněk Štybar

We've been dreaming of interviewing Zdeněk Štybar for a long time. When we heard that he would be appearing on the press trip for L'Etape Czech Republic by Tour de France, of which Posedla is a proud partner, we didn't hesitate for a minute. We told ourselves it just had to work this time and Zdeněk Štybar, one of the best Czech cyclists, kindly accepted our invitation.

We followed him to Dobřichovice near Prague, where he devoted himself to his duties as a race ambassador, conveying the atmosphere of the Tour de France to hobby riders. We met in the evening, after Zdeněk had completed his journey by car from Belgium and the recon of L'Etape’s medium route, which will take place on June 10, 2023.

Zdenek Stybar with cyclists on a ride

We couldn't be surprised if he didn't want to spend more time with us than he promised after such a busy schedule. But the reality was different in the end – the originally agreed half-hour doubled. Zdeněk patiently answered questions and didn't try to turn us off, even when we got to the certainly not-so-easy topics of his last few unlucky seasons. He talked openly about how he was coping with the impending loss of motivation, how he told himself after a crash in the classics that this is not for him anymore... Despite all that, we finally came to the conclusion that even a professional cyclist who has had bad luck and health complications can still enjoy the joy of riding.

Czech pro cyclist Zdenek Stybar with hobby cyclists on a ride

This episode of the Life in the Saddle podcast has some strong moments in our opinion and is definitely worth a listen. It includes the following lines, among others:

On the possible end of his career: "You don't completely get to choose (how you end your career). If I could choose, it would be to win the Olympics in Paris and finish it up there. Or win the CX World Championships in Tabor and wrap it up. [...] If I get there, and I have a number on my back, that's an option. But those are the best-case scenarios."

On switching from cyclocross to road: "The road was a big unknown. Of course, I didn't know if I was even up to it. If I would be able to race with the best. [...] I try not to admit that something can go wrong, on the contrary, I knew I would come back stronger (to cyclocross) because I would be racing big races."

About Quick-Step: "I had my best years at Quick-Step when we were winning 70-75 races a year. [...] You could say we were really racing for the win every race. So those were the great years. And when somebody came in second, it was like a funeral. That was not accepted at all."

About Patrick Lefevere: "Patrick will say a lot of things, he'll say them out loud, but I find it hard for him to say it to someone's face. He'll say it to the media, he'll say it on Twitter, or he'll comment somewhere [...]. But I can't say one bad word about him. Everything has always worked. When he said something, he kept his word. And he always had a great team."

You can find the full episode on your favorite podcast app.

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Photos: Matěj Třešňák

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