Zdenek Stybar is not satisfied with his results on the road, although he can boast of some top finishes in his short career with Quick Step. The reigning cyclo-cross world champion admitted that while he is happy with what he has accomplished, he wants more.
Stybar turned his attention to the road this season with the Belgian ProTeam as of March 1. He got off to a rousing start, finishing third in the fourth stage of the Four Days of Dunkirk, and then claiming the overall third position.
He may have met his match, though, in the high mountains of the Tour de Suisse. He was at the head of the field as it approached the summit of the Große Scheidegg on the third stage, but was not able to hold on.
"Then it became too steep. I couldn't hold on any more,” he told Sportwereld. He finished 29th on the stage, but thought he should have done better.
"I was not unhappy with my performance, but the result could not satisfy me. It could have been better,” he said.
Overall he is pleased with his transition from 'cross to the road. “I wondered whether I would be strong enough for competition of this calibre. I was not worried, but rather curious. How long would it take before I could manage?”
“Hence I was quite happy with my performance in Dunkirk. After the cyclocross season I just did basic training. And then immediately the third place. I thought that was good, yes.”
Teammate Tom Boonen is supportive of Stybar, saying the Czech “won't need much time to progress further.” How far he will be able to go “remains to be seen. Obviously he has a lot to learn.”
For example, his participation in setting up a sprint “is not as it should be. But that is normal for a rider who has only just reached this level. Don't worry. He learns quickly and is really doing his best.”