French national champion to stay with Belgian team
The Quick Step team has confirmed that Sylvain Chavanel will stay with the team in 2012 and 2013, putting and end to speculation that the French national champion was considering a return to a French team.
The L’Equipe newspaper suggested on Tuesday that the 32 year-old classics rider was open to offers, quoting Chavanel as saying Cofidis, Saur-Sojasun, Ag2r, Europcar, Astana and Katusha were all interested in him. However, he quickly denied he had any plans to change teams and Quick Step issued a statement confirming that Chavanel will be staying with the team until 2013 after reaching a new deal with current Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere.
On Monday Quick Step announced a new partnership with Omega Pharma to create a new team for 2012, although few details of which management company will run the team and the team’s roster have been confirmed.
“I’m very happy with the agreement we reached. I get on well on this team and with them these past few years I’ve made a lot of progress, obtaining some of my most prestigious victories,” Chavanel said in the Quick Step statement.
"My thanks go to Lefevere and the team for the faith they’ve always placed in me. I was also very impressed with the important projects the team is working on for the future and I like the idea of being a part of things with an important role to play. My future objective is to improve even further and to try and succeed in a great classic with this team. This year I’ve proven that I can do it.”
Quick Step has already secured Tom Boonen as one of its team leaders and Lefevere was happy to extend an agreement with Chavanel.
“For us it’s gratifying to be able to count on Sylvain for the near future. We already had an agreement with him for 2012 and we decided together to prolong the deal to the end of 2013,” Lefevere said.
“Sylvain is a great rider but he’s also a team player, someone we can always count on. His presence on the team is also an important example for the younger guys, and he transmits serenity to his team mates.”