Boonen set for another year at Etixx-QuickStep

Belgian comes to agreement for 2016 contract extension

Tom Boonen and Etixx-QuickStep have come to an agreement that will keep the Belgian rider at the team for another year, according to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

Boonen, 34, has a longstanding association with the Belgian team but with his current contract set to expire at the end of 2015, there has been uncertainty hanging over his future since the transfer window opened on August 1.

"The final talks did not last very long - in two weeks we were done. I'm glad it's behind us. I'll be staying on for one year, as I actually always wanted,” said Boonen, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

“I still enjoy all aspects of cycling. At this age it's better to decide year by year. When this new contract expires I'll be 36 years old.”

Boonen has been with the Belgian team for the majority of his professional career, joining in 2003 after a neo-pro year at US Postal. In his 13 years so far at the team, he has established himself as one of the all-time great Classics riders, with four Paris-Roubaix victories, three at the Tour of Flanders, and a world champion’s jersey to his name among various other successes. A fast finish means he has racked up more than one hundred victories during his career.

A dislocated shoulder forced him to miss his beloved spring Classics this year but he got his season back on track with a stage win at the Eneco Tour in August.

With time marching on and with twin daughters born this year, Boonen has recently indicated that retirement is now on his radar. He was one of several riders at Etixx whose contracts were set to expire at the end of the season and after a period of uncertainty surrounding team boss Patrick Lefevere’s future plans, the roster for next season is starting to take some shape.

The Belgian-based team has signed Dan Martin from Cannondale-Garmin, with Rigoberto Urán set to head in the opposite direction, but the future of Mark Cavenidsh – and by extension lead-out man Mark Renshaw – is still unresolved.

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