Zdenek Stybar (Ettix-QuickStep) had some trouble with his teeth falling out at the Tour of Flanders last Sunday but he lined up at the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday with a new set of pearly whites and made it clear that he is back in the game for the upcoming Paris-Roubaix.
A bunch sprint crash in Ardooie during the Eneco Tour last year has still been bothering Stybar. The Czech rider lost several teeth during the crash and received a bridge as a temporary solution. Just before winning the Strade Bianche in Italy in March it needed fixing and then last Sunday at the Tour of Flanders it broke and he had to take it out completely.
“It just broke in two. I could take it out and ride without it but it’s annoying. Especially if it happens in the final of one of the most important races of the season. That’s really sad. It wasn’t that it made me ride bad but mentally... it’s just playing in your head,” Stybar said on Wednesday morning, at the start of the Scheldeprijs in Antwerp.
Racing the Scheldeprijs and focusing on Paris-Roubaix wouldn’t have been possible without paying a visit to his dentist. Stybar was pleased he quickly received support.
“Now it’s better. Luckily my dentist wasn’t on holidays. At first I feared that my dentist would surely be on holidays and I wouldn’t be able to find another one. Luckily he was at home. He read my mail and saw the photos. He called me and I was able to visit him on Monday evening until eleven o’clock. Yesterday I was on his couch until midnight, for one and a half hours. Now it’s all fixed. I have new ones. It has to heal until the end of May before thinking about normal teeth. Now I can go on again.”
The Scheldeprijs featured as long training ahead of Paris-Roubaix, a race Stybar sincerely hopes to win one day.
“I would do a long training anyway so it’s also nice to do a race around Antwerp. I’ve never done it so I’m looking forward to it.” Stybar said. He avoided the big bunch crash and finished safely in Schoten in 71st place. Now he can focus totally on Paris-Roubaix.
“I definitely look forward to it. The race is one of the biggest Monuments. It’s the kind of race that everyone wants to win. I hope that one day I can win it as well.”
In 2013, the former cyclo-cross world champion finished sixth during his debut in Paris-Roubaix and last year he improved one spot when his teammate Niki Terpstra won the race.