Zdenek Stybar will not compete in any cyclo-cross events this winter. The Deceuninck-QuickStep rider has opted to take a break from competition after a late finish to his road season at the Vuelta a España.
Since switching to racing primarily on the road in 2012, Stybar has continued to race sparingly in cyclo-cross, most notably in 2014, when he claimed the third world title of his career.
Stybar opted to forgo cyclo-cross in the winter of 2017-2018, but he lined out in five events the following year and took on no fewer than nine races last winter.
Deceuninck-QuickStep directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters explained that the late end to the pandemic-interrupted 2020 road season has convinced the Czech rider to sit out the cyclo-cross campaign this time out.
“The reason is simple,” Peeters told Wielerflits. “That strange coronavirus season went on a very long time. Don't forget that Zdenek only ended his road season on November 8, with the final stage on the Vuelta a España. You can’t then expect him to do a number of cyclo-cross races in December. He also needs his rest.”
Stybar began his 2020 road season with a stage win in the Vuelta a San Juan and he placed 6th at Strade Bianche when competition resumed in August, though he fell short at the cobbled Classics in October.
The top two finishers at the Tour of Flanders, Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), are both competing on the cyclo-cross circuit this winter, and they placed first and second at the World Cup in Namur on Sunday afternoon.
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