Zdenek Stybar may have suffered a narrow loss to Niels Albert in the third round of the cyclo-cross World Cup in Nommay, France on Sunday, but the Czech rider is pleased with the progression he has shown throughout the season and is confident he will be standing on the top of the podium soon.
"If you lose a World Cup 'cross round, there really no words for it," Stybar told Sportswereld after losing the two-up sprint to the line with the World Cup leader. "You wonder: what if on that last lap I had not attacked?
"Of course you never know, but it was not the result I wanted. I would have been better saving my energy for the sprint. But we learn from every race."
Although Albert has dominated the World Cup season, with victory in each of the three events contested, Stybar has finished consistently close to the cyclo-cross World Champion. He finished second at the opening round in Italy and third at round two in his native Czech Republic. Stybar is confident that Sunday's result is a sign that a maiden season victory is not far away.
With a busy fortnight ahead, including two rounds of the Belgian Superprestige series and the fourth World Cup round in Koksijde, Belgium, Stybar said he looked forward to testing his mid-season form.
"I had also trained this week in Majorca, with a view to a tough couple of weeks in late November. When we have to compete in two 'cross races on a weekend, the condition and power will come to the surface. I'm confident that I'll be ready."
Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world - twitter.com/cyclingnewsfeed