Zdeněk Štybar, a Freshly Retired Cyclo-Cross Legend: “If I stop my career on Sunday, on Monday, I want to be back to work, whatever that is“

By We Love Cycling

In this episode of the We Love Cycling podcast, Matt Stephens is revisiting one legendary pro career that just recently reached its conclusion. In his virtual studio, he welcomed Zdeněk Štybar, a Czech native and a road cycling and cyclo-cross household name.

The Cyclo-cross Elite Men’s World Championship in Tábor, which took place on 4th February 2024, was Zdeněk’s very last race. Needless to say, being on home turf and wrapping things up with a race that he claims will always have a place in his heart, things got emotional. The 38-year-old all-round cyclist retires from the sport after having won three Elite men’s cyclo-cross world championships (in 2010, 2011 and 2014) and two U-23 world titles (in 2005 and 2006).

His considerable road cycling palmares include a stage win at the Tour de France and an overall win at the Strade Bianche (both in 2015), the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the E3 BinckBank Classic (both in 2019), and two second places at Paris-Roubaix (in 2025 and 2017).

With Matt, they delved into the emotions felt when leaving a lifestyle of 20 years, breaking pro routines and teaching his mind to relax and not stress about training, the recovery from his demanding double iliac surgery, the winning streak and camaraderie he got to enjoy in various iterations of the Quick-Step team over 10 years, his new outlooks and what the future holds, and much more. And, of course, his heart-warming goodbye to the sport in Tábor, with family, friends, and fans present.

We’ve also recently interviewed Mr Štybar, so if you crave more, read on.