Quick-Step Floors’ Zdenek Stybar makes cyclocross return during off-season

The three-time CX world champion will add some variety into his winter training

Former cyclocross world champion Zdenek Stybar will be going off-road once again for his winter training.

The Quick-Step Floors rider will be making a return to the world of cyclocross in the hopes of carrying form into the 2019 season.

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Stybar, 33, won the cyclocross world championships in 2010, 2011, and 2014 but has built a reputation as a strong Classics rider on the road.

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The Czech rider said: “I am really looking forward to my return to cyclocross, a beautiful discipline that I love taking part in.

“It will be some really hard and competitive racing and hopefully I can have some good form and try to have some fun.

“It is also a great chance for me to mix with my Czech team-mates and to help some of the younger riders who are coming through, which is something that I am very passionate about.”

Stybar will start with the Zolder World Cup on Boxing Day (December 26) before riding Loenhout on December 28 and Diegem two days later.

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Finally he will ride the Baal event on New Year’s Day before joining Quick-Step team-mates at their January training camp in Calpe, Spain.

Stybar, the former Czech national champion, has picked up stage wins at both the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.

He also won the 2015 edition of Strade Bianche.

But a Monument win has eluded the one-day specialist who has finished second in Paris-Roubaix on two occasions, 2015 and 2017.

This season he picked up a string of top-10 Classics finishes – ninth in E3 Harelbeke, eighth in Ghent-Wevelgem, 10th in the Tour of Flanders and ninth in Paris-Roubaix.

Stybar, who joined Quick-Step in 2011 and will continue with the team under its new name Deceuninck-Quick Step, is no doubt hoping some intense cyclocross efforts could help his form heading into the spring next year.