Belgian Sander Armee will remain in the WorldTour peloton until at least the end of the 2020 season having inked a three-year extension with Lotto Soudal. The 31-year-old joins teammates Tomasz Marczynski and Jelle Wallays in signing long-term deals.
Armee joined Lotto Soudal in 2014 after four seasons with the Pro-Continental Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator team. The mountains classification winner at Tour de Romandie for the last two years, Armee finished second overall at the 4 Jours de Dunkerque, followed by fourth at the Tour of Norway before breaking through for a debut win at the Vuelta a Espana.
"It's nice that I can keep working in this pleasant environment," Armee said. "It's now my fourth year with the team and I immediately felt good at Lotto Soudal. I think that I'm the kind of rider who can help the team in a lot of different races but who can also get good results if the race profile suits my abilities. If our leaders are present, my role will be to help them as much as I can."
Looking ahead, Armee added that when given the opportunity, he will pursue his own ambitions and is confident of adding to his Vuelta stage win.
"But if there are no real leaders in the team, I can have a shot at winning. I'm glad with this situation and I think it can remain as such for the years to come," he said. "I still want to win another race, of course. I knew that I had a victory in my legs but it also depends a lot on the situation. I maybe have a little more confidence after my Vuelta stage win, and I hope I can repeat that in the future. It might be a race at another level though, but I will keep trying."
Having made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d'Italia in 2014, Armee has since ridden a second Giro and three editions of the Vuelta. With his future at Lotto Soudal secure, a Tour de France debut could also be on the cards for the 1.90m tall Belgian.
Lotto Soudal has also extended the contracts of Jasper De Buyst, Maxime Monfort, Jelle Vanendert, and Frederik Frison beyond 2018, and signed Victor Campenaerts (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Lawrence Naesen (WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect), Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott).