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“I feel I am still missing some experience from the Classics because I have only done them twice. You need to get the experience in the races, but thanks to the team that learning has been faster thanks to the guys."

Photo: © Etixx - Quick-Step / Tim de Waele


17.01.2015 @ 12:45 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Zdenek Stybar will be one of the men to watch in the Classics campaign, and the Etixx-Quick Step rider talked to PEZ Cycling at his team’s traning camp to discuss the classics and the 2015 season as a whole.


“I feel I am still missing some experience from the Classics because I have only done them twice, this year will only be my third time. You need to learn and get the experience in the races, but thanks to the team that learning has come to me faster and thanks to the experienced guys. But I think everything is going well for the moment, all on track and everything is where it should be at the moment, so we will see.”


Stybar is a very accomplished Cyclocross rider, with multiple National and World titles, but four years ago, he made the switch to the road and he hasn’t looked back since, even if most winters he does return to racing with the best on the Cross bike.


“It was four years ago when I was given the chance to sign with Quick-Step. It was always my childhood dream, but the time for making that decision was when I was World champion for the second time, I had won the World Cup and the Super Prestige Competition and a lot of races and I wanted to get more out of my career. I said that this was the moment to change and go for it.”


The reason he switched to the road was for the classics, and the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in particular. He has dreamed about racing and winning these events ever since he was a child.


“I always say Flanders and Roubaix, they are always the main goals for me, but I just want to perform well from the first race until Paris-Roubaix. I don’t want to peak for just one race, I want to be good in all of that period. The past two seasons have shown that Paris-Roubaix suits me the best, but I would also like to show that I can do well in races like Harelbeke and Tour of Flanders. You must be lucky and be in top shape, but we are the strongest team, so we must win as a team. We have to like a little for ourselves, but also think as a team.”


Even though the tam won Roubaix last year, they were outclassed in Flanders despite having the numbers and this is something Stybar says the team needs to learn from to be even more successful this time around.


“I think we have to learn a little bit from that, like I said; you never know how you will be in the final. Like last year it was such a hard race in the end, it was very closed and then it opened up a little and then came back together again, it was like that most of the race I think. So we must see what we can do this year, but you can imagine a hundred scenarios how the race can go, but we have to show that we are in top shape and there will be other strong team and they will get the pressure and we will be on the defensive or the offensive.”


He is also targeting his first ever ride in the Tour de France in 2015, after taking a Vuelta a Espana stage win in 2013. If he gets a ride, he wants to take a stage in the race, particularly with the cobbled stage suiting him.


“Absolutely it will mean a lot to me and I hope to be there, but also I must fit in with the team and I must be in top shape, I don’t want to go there just to participate. I want to go there with the ambition to take a stage.”




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