World champion needs to choose between road and 'cross
Zdenek Stybar wants to defend his cyclo-cross world championship title as well as put in a full season on the road. It isn't working, says his supervisor at Quick Step, Wilfried Peeters, who says it is time for the Czech to decide which discipline he wants to ride.
Stybar has won the world title two years in a row, and over the last few years has won numerous World cup races and titles. But not this year.
After taking the Czech and World titles in January, he moved to the road and Quick Step after March 1. He got off to a good start, finishing third overall in the Three Days of Dunkirk and he rode a full schedule in May, June, and August.
Stybar returned to the 'cross season in the fall, but with a noticeable lack of success. He has won only one race, in Hamme-Zogge. Last weekend after finishing a dismal thirteenth in Essen, he came back to finish fifth in Namur.
He is simply trying to do too much, Peeters told Het Nieuwsblad. “That boy does everything with great enthusiasm and energy, but sometimes it's stronger than him. You have to constantly rein him in. I don't blame him, because he's a great guy to work with. But he must gradually go a different way. No one is indestructible, huh. Draw the line somewhere. Therefore it is not that bad once he sat with his head bumped against the wall. He must himself feel how far he can go."
Even if Stybar wants to win everything, he will certainly not be able to, Peeters said. "You can be as strong as you want, the programme of 2011 is not sustainable," says Peeters. "Nobody can be top on both the road and in the field. That combination is not sustainable. A man must choose in life, and we must remember for the future."