Wanty-Groupe Gobert has re-signed Björn Leukemans through the end of the 2015 season. The Beglium-based Professional Continental outfit will build a team around the Classics rider at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
“We are very happy to have reached a deal with Björn for next season. We are ambitious again for the Classics next year. We will construct a solid team around him for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix,” said general manager Jean-François Bourlart.
Leukemans, 37, had a strong season with a fifth place in La Flèche Brabançonne, ninth in the Tour of Flanders, 11th in the Amstel Gold Race and 15th in Paris-Roubaix. He also finished fourth at Druivenkoers-Overijse and performed well at the Tour du Limousin, where he won a stage and finished second in the overall.
“At my age you look at these things year per year," said Leukemans. ”The team know that I live for my job and gives me the liberty to do so. That is important to me and something that I need to have.
“I am the leader of the team in this period and that can be stressful at times. But thanks to my experience, I know how to handle it well. I am looking forward to showing myself and the team next season again."
Wanty-Groupe Gobert is currently third in the UCI Europe Tour classification. “Wanty-Groupe Gobert is a team that does really well with the means that it has. It's a Belgian team and to me that's an important thing as well."
The team has also extended contracts with Jérome Baugnies and Kévin Van Melsen for two season.
Baugnies won a stage at the Tour des Fjords, finished second at the Giro della Toscana and is the team’s top-ranked rider in the Europe Tour in 14th place. Van Melsen recently won the mountain classifications in both the Tour de Wallonie and the Tour du Poitou-Charentes.