Newly-crowned under-23 Cyclocross World Champion Thibau Nys is preparing himself for a year of stage races to find himself as a road rider.
Last season the 21-year-old won the five-day Flèche du Sud stage race in the Netherlands and has a road season filled with short multi-day races for this season.
Finishing his cyclocross season immediately after being crowned world champion in his age category, Nys will have to wait until next season to wear his rainbow bands in the field. The young Belgian became a stagiaire with Trek-Segafredo last summer and is now preparing for a road season of developing and finding himself as a road rider.
“I’ll take a small break, one and half weeks and then I will prepare for the road season which is filled with shorter stage races, one week, nothing too special some higher level, some World Tour and some lower level, but all in function of the next coming years,” said Nys.
“I want to try and grow, develop and get stronger as a rider. Everything in its time step by step.”
The former European U23 road champion will start his road campaign with two Classics, starting with Nokere Koerse on March 13 and then GP Denain the following day.
The youngster will then compete in stage races for the remainder of the season, the most prestigious on his provisional calendar being the Tour of Romandie in April. Other stage races the young Belgian is set to compete in are the Tour of Norway, the Baloise Belgium Tour and the Tour of Wallonie.
“We still need to see which type of rider I will develop,” Nys added. “Will I be a one-week stage racer, a puncheur or a sprinter? It’s still a bit unsure. Will I become a Classics rider? It’s something we need to see this season. I’ll have a nice time and step by step we’ll start to grow.
“[Nokere Koerse is] one of the only two Classics I do, then it’s all filled with stage races. I will try to help the team the best as possible. I don’t want to come into them races to try and win them or to be the leader of the pack.
“I just want to help the team, pull for the boys and get stronger in the next few years. Romandie is something where I will learn a lot to try and get stronger.”
Nys is set to follow the likes of Mathieu Van der Poel, Wout Van Aert and Tom Pidcock in combining a road racing and cyclocross calendar.
“For the moment both, I will see what comes on my part in the next few years,” Nys added. “I don’t have a favourite. I will try and combine both as long as possible.”
Nys’ father Sven was a two-time…
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