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.
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.
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.
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.
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.