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Keisse signs with Quick Step

By:
Susan Westemeyer
Published:
December 06, 2009, 18:07 GMT,
Updated:
December 06, 2009, 21:05 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, December 6, 2009
Iljo Keisse on a flyer

Iljo Keisse on a flyer

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Track star secures one-year contract with option for a second year

Iljo Keisse will race for Team Quick Step in 2010, both on the track and the road. He reached an agreement with the Belgian ProTour team Saturday for the coming year, with an option for 2011.

Keisse, 27, will continue to focus on track riding up until the UCI Track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark, on March 24-28. After that, he will turn to road racing, and return to the track when the season is over.

The Belgian rider is now starting "the most important phase of his career. Our goal is to understand how Iljo will be able to perform at an international level on the road," said Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere. "With his speed, he could be of great use to (sprinter Tom) Boonen and, why not play his own cards during sprints in the minor races."

Keisse called the signing "a dream come true". He might possibly ride in a few road races before the Worlds in Copenhagen. The schedule will be worked out when he returns from the World Cup events in Colombia, December 10-12.

He rode for Topsport Vlaanderen from 2004 to 2008. The Belgian Professional Continental team fired him in January after he tested positive for two substances at the 2008 Gent Six Day race. He was recently cleared of those charges.

Keisse is a Six- Day specialist, who consistently brings in top placings in such events. He most recently finished second with partner Roger Kluge at the Gent Six Day race.

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