They weren't his first road wins, but the two stage wins and overall title at the Eneco Tour were Zdenek Stybar's breakthrough wins. The former two-time cyclo-cross world champion has finally proven himself as a force on the road as well, his Omega Pharma-QuickStep manager has said.
"He can win classics," Patrick Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad. "This is an extension of what we have seen over the last two years from Stybar.”
“Stybar may be one of the boys, or he may be Tom Boonen,” Lefevere said, adding that the Czech rider is still at the beginning of his road career. “He is built lighter than Museeuw and Boonen, but he climbs better.”
Lefevere saw a future for Stybar in the smaller stage races, calling him “very professional, with an unyielding will. Tactically he does not have much more to gain, and he is quite explosive.”
He praised Stybar's transition to the road, saying “I knew already that Zdenek had a very big engine, but there is a difference between an hour riding in a field and the finale of a classic. Without bad luck, he would have been on the podium this year's Paris-Roubaix as a rookie.”
Stybar was in the leading trio near the end of the race when he was clipped by a spectator and fell back. The team manger also hoped that the rider would now turn his full concentration to the road.
"After this Eneco Tour I think he has finally closed the cyclo-cross chapter in his head, except for some competitions for fun around New Year."