World 'Cross champion third overall in Four Days of Dunkirk
Zdenek Stybar finished on the podium of his first road race for Quick Step. The reigning cyclo-cross world champion finished third overall in the Four Days of Dunkirk, an unexpected result for him.
"I'm really very happy that I managed to hold on to third place,” he said on his website “I never expected this in my first race.”
Stybar had moved into third place on Saturday's fourth stage, when he was part of a late break group. The Czech was able to counter the first attack out of the group by eventual winner Thomas Voeckler, but couldn't answer the Frenchman's attack with about 14km to go.
Stybar finished third on the stage, 1.43 minutes down, moving him into third overall. "I'm really very happy with this. It's a good feeling. With 2,600 meters of climbing, I expected to really suffer, but I got better with each lap.”
He was able to hold on to that top position in Sunday's closing stage, with a finish in the lead group. Earlier, his teammate Julien Vermote was in a long breakaway, which made things easier for him.
"The rest of the team was able to hold a steady position in the peloton thanks to Julien's presence in the break,” Stybar said. “All we had to do was defend my third place position. And the team did a great job. Now I understand why it's so important to have a strong team around you.”
His next race is coming up almost immediately, the Tour of Picardy, May 13-15.