After an eventful season so far, which has seen a change of co-sponsor and multiple victories by standout riders Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb, Argos-Shimano has revealed that they have agreed to contract extensions with five of their riders. It's some welcome news of continuity after Alexandre Geniez announced his intention to leave the team last month after being left out of their Tour de France squad.
French duo Matthieu Sprick and Yann Huguet have signed deals until the end of the 2013 season, while Tom Dumoulin, Roy Curvers (both Dutch) and Bert de Backer (Belgium) have agreed to contracts that will run until the end of 2014.
"I've noticed that I’ve been able to develop myself very well in this team," Sprick said. "I enjoy the innovative way of working and I look forward to the future. I want to discover how much I can still progress together with this team."
The team has enjoyed mixed fortunes at the 2012 Tour de France so far, for which they were one of four wildcard invitations. Kittel, their number one sprinter, was considered to be a contender for some of the early stages but was forced to withdraw early on in stage five with stomach problems after performing sluggishly since the start. His mantle as lead sprinter on the team was taken by Tom Veelers, who produced excellent rides on stage 2 (4th) and stage 4 (3rd), illustrating the Professional Continental team's strength in depth.