Can Stybar be a top classics rider?

Can Stybar place top 10 in the Ronde? I'd say yes, especially if he can take advantage of the situation, as Devolder has done.

Can he win? I'm not super sure on this, though I do think he has the potential to be a serious contender. He's still young, though he's going to face some serious riders. Is 25 too late to start becoming a serious classics rider?
 
May 20, 2010
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Depends what his base fitness is like. If he has been training all this time for cyclocross he might not have the ammo when it comes to fire the guns in Ronde.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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Not immediately, anyway. Look at Lars Boom. Not that his performance was poor in the classics, but he wasn't a factor in those of monument length.
 
A

Anonymous

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I asked steven de jongh this very question the other day.

His reply

I think Zdenek will do really well - its obvious he's got lots and lots of talent he only misses experience on the road but he is still young and he will learn he is ambitious and he is a training animal!! Good luck to him at the cyclocross worlds in St Wendl!
i asked mainly as steven is good friends with him and i take that as confirmation that he will be making the switch.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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taiwan said:
Not immediately, anyway. Look at Lars Boom. Not that his performance was poor in the classics, but he wasn't a factor in those of monument length.
This. A few seasons down the line I think that both Boom and Stybar will be contenders for both PR and RvV.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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Stybar is an absolute top talent. One of the best cyclist of his generations. So chances exist he can do it once.

But it takes more than talent to win a classic.
 
Sep 14, 2010
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I sure hope Stybar can make a successful leap.

Have there been any similar transitions (cross --> road) in the past that have yielded results? I am a bit worried that a big fish in a small pond might struggle amongst the bigger peloton.

Either way, I suspect there is a need for at least a few seasons to transition to the legs of a pure roadie.

Remember the days when roadies went MTB? And then later the MTB-Road... aka Cadel and co.
 
If he does sign with Quickstep, I think that would be a good situation for him. The team puts a priority on the spring classics and there won't be much pressure on Stybar because Boonen is healthy (at least according to reports) and will be the protected rider. Stybar can work for him and possibly see about taking some opportunities like Devolder did at Flanders.
 
Jul 16, 2010
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washedup said:
I sure hope Stybar can make a successful leap.

Have there been any similar transitions (cross --> road) in the past that have yielded results? I am a bit worried that a big fish in a small pond might struggle amongst the bigger peloton.

Either way, I suspect there is a need for at least a few seasons to transition to the legs of a pure roadie.

Remember the days when roadies went MTB? And then later the MTB-Road... aka Cadel and co.
Lars Boom is the only example I can think of. But that's just because cyclocross(if you're good) makes more money in Belgium than your average road race cyclist. So few make the transfer for real.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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Always difficult to predict these things. Potential is there but I wouldn't count on it before he has matured on the road.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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I hope he succeeds on the road, but I don't see any reason to be too confident yet about the Classics. Time will tell.

The big concern is obviously the distance. A lot of very strong boys struggled to reach a point where they could showcase their strengths after 200km. Thor Hushovd is one who comes to mind. Thor seems to finally be emerging as a major classics threat, but for so long he was a guy with seemingly all of the tools but who still couldn't deliver his best sprint or attack at the end of a 260+ km Classic. Thor's strengths are at least as impressive as Stybar's--U23 world champ in TT; multiple prologue winner; high-profile sprint winner; excellent bike handler; generally tough b*stard.

On the other hand, some guys (like Boonen) excel immediately in the longest, hardest races. Would be pretty exciting if Stybar does the same.
 

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