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Stybar makes brief return to his first love – cyclo-cross

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Zdenek Stybar during stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia 2018

Zdenek Stybar during stage 12 of the Giro d'Italia 2018 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Zdenek Stybar of Czech Republic and Team Quick Step Floors pulls the main field at stage 3 of BinckBank Tour

Zdenek Stybar of Czech Republic and Team Quick Step Floors pulls the main field at stage 3 of BinckBank Tour (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Tim Wellens with Stybar for company in the closing kilometres

Tim Wellens with Stybar for company in the closing kilometres (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Zdenek Stybar at the Quick-Step Floors press conference

Zdenek Stybar at the Quick-Step Floors press conference (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Zdenek Stybar and Sep Vanmarcke attacking at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Zdenek Stybar and Sep Vanmarcke attacking at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Quick-Step Floors Classics specialist Zdenek Stybar will return to cyclo-cross racing in December with a string of appearances in several high profile races. The former three-time cyclo-cross world champion will race the Zolder World Cup on December 26, and then race the DVV Trophy in Loenhout and Diegem on December 26 and 28, respectively. He will the race in Baal on New Year's Day.

"I am really looking forward to my return to cyclo-cross, a beautiful discipline that I love taking part in," Zdenek said. "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 teammates and to help some of the younger riders who are coming through, which is something that I am very passionate about."

The 32-year-old was a prominent cyclo-cross rider earlier in his career and was a three-time world champion between 2010 and 2014. He moved onto the road and WorldTour scene in 2011 with Quick-Step and has remained within the Belgian team's ranks ever since.

Stybar often returns to cyclo-cross in the road off-season, and in 2016 he raced the C1 DVV Trophy in Loenhout and the C2 Versluys Cyclo-cross in Bredene. 

This year Stybar raced a full quota of Classics, and picked up top-ten finishes in several races, including Paris-Roubaix and Gent-Wevelgem. He was a consistent figure for his team during the campaign, but he did not win any races in 2018.

After the slate of cyclo-cross races, Zdenek will travel to Calpe, where he will continue his build-up for next season with the Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team.