Zdenek Stybar is excitedly looking forward to his making his debut in the professional peloton with the Quick Step team. The reigning cyclo-cross world champion will ride the Four Days of Dunkirk that begins today.
"It feels like the first day of school", he told Het Nieuwsblad. "I'm going to see my new mates, new teachers are coming ... Everything will be as I dreamed for years.
“As a little boy I always looked with wide eyes at the professional cyclists: What kind of bike do they ride? What shoes do they have? What does their jersey look like? Now I have all of that myself.”
The 25 year-old was so excited that as soon as he returned from his post-cross season holiday, “I could no longer stop myself. I jumped into my kit and went training. Then when you pick up your water bottle and see Quick Step written on it: Great.”
Stybar admitted that “I do not know what to expect, because I just don't know how quickly the pack goes. Though I am realistic. My last race was in the indoor cross in Hasselt, since then I've just been training. I'm not thinking of winning but of getting water or jackets, in short, making myself useful to the team. "
"If you're not good enough to win, you work. Simple. And then you're honest,” the Czech explained. "The first year I have no problem with that. But ultimately I want to prove something to myself. I didn't want to just be one of many in cyclo-cross and I don't want to be one of many on the road. I need victories."
“I want to be one of the best on certain courses. If not - and I'll soon find that out - then I will return to cyclo-cross. Because otherwise the investment of time and money is not worth it. "