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Belgium's Iljo Keisse (Quick Step)
Quick Step riders keen for results as contract re-negotiations loom
Iljo Keisse will return to racing at the Four Days of Dunkirk in France on Wednesday after a six-week recovery from a broken collarbone. The Quick Step sprinter says his main goal for the remainder of this season will be to secure an extension of his current one-year deal with the team.
"I have to enforce a new contract with Quick Step, and intend to finish every race as well as possible and help the team," Keisse told Sporza. "I haven’t raced for six weeks so I'll feel it [this week]."
Keisse broke his left collarbone while preparing for the Track World Championships in March. The injury required surgery, which forced him off the bike for a week and the 27-year-old only returned to full training three weeks ago.
"I have a plate and artificial ligaments in my collarbone. My legs are not in top shape, but I'm ready to return to racing. I'm not running any risk, so long as I don't crash," he said. "I'd have to have pretty bad luck to fall on the same collarbone."
Both Keisse and Stijn Devolder are using the Four Days of Dunkirk to prepare for the Tour of Belgium later this month. After a disappointing Classics campaign, Devolder will lead the team in Dunkirk and, like Keisse, is also looking for a results in order to secure an extension to his contract, which is due to expire at the end of this season.
Quick Step for the Four Days of Dunkirk: Stijn Devolder, Kurt Hovelijnck, Iljo Keisse, Andrei Kunitski, Nikolas Maes, Andreas Stauff, Kevin Van Impe and Thomas Vedel Kvist.