Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) hasn’t had a big one-day win since Strade Bianche in 2015, but he is setting his sights high for the coming season. Paris-Roubaix is at the top of his wish list, followed by the Tour of Flanders.
The Czech rider has performed well in the Spring Classics over the last few years, finishing second in Roubaix in 2017. ''And yet the past year was not bad, but indeed, the big win was missing. In the top classics, however, I ended up every time within the first ten,” he told nieuwsblad.be.
In the past two years, his only wins have been the Czech national road title (2017) and the points jersey at this year’s BinckBank Tour.
He shares his Roubaix and Flanders goals with teammate Yves Lampaert, but they will not have to contend with another internal rival. Niki Terpstra, who has won both of those race, is leaving for Direct Energie in 2019.
Not that Stybar thinks that will make a difference within the team. “Even when Tom Boonen was still riding with us, we were already a broad, strong group, where everyone got chances. That will not be different now.”
Stybar, 32, is currently training on Mallorca, without teammates. “I see my teammates already enough in the season, I prefer to do it alone now.”
He will, however, see his team again in the next months at training camps. Meanwhile, he is juggling family obligations, road training and cyclo-cross racing – after all he is a three-time ‘cross World Champion. “My agenda gets difficult, especially because I always want to spend the Christmas period with my family in the Czech Republic. But I still have the desire for ‘cross. I am working on it but do not say which ‘crosses I will ride.”