Pauwels falls for MTN-Qhubeka project

Belgium impressed and signs from QuickStep

Serge Pauwels has become Team MTN-Qhubeka’s latest signing with the Belgian joining from Omega Pharma-QuickStep on a two-year deal.

The 30-year-old, who has ridden for Cervelo TestTeam, Team Sky and spent the last three under the wing of Patrick Lefevere at Omega told Cyclingnews that he has been signed for his experience but is expecting his own chances in races.

“After the Giro d’Italia the team contacted me and straight away I liked the idea of the project. In June, when I talked to my manager, I made it clear that this was the team I wanted to join and that was before there was talk about the team upgrading or Cervelo coming. I was impressed with their ideas when I saw them for the first time in Langkawi,” Pauwels told Cyclingnews.

The Belgium has forged a career as a valuable domestique and has competed in all three Grand Tours in a career that started with Rabobank’s U23 programme.

“I’ll be there to share my experience with the promising young riders that they have but don’t see this as my final two years as a rider. I’m still ambitious and in this team I’ll get chances to ride for myself on occasions,” he said.

“I enjoyed my full three years at QuickStep but this offer just came at the right time for me. I enjoyed it a lot there and I learned a lot as well but this is a chapter.”

Pauwels is the latest signing for the South African team that continues to pick up riders on the market. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Tyler Farrar, Theo Bos and Matthew Goss have already signed contracts for next year with at least one major signing still to be announced.

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