Arnaud Demare will stay with Groupama-FDJ through 2020, the team announced on Monday. The 26-year-old French rider is the team's captain at the Tour de France, where he has brought in four top-five finishes in the bunch sprints.
The sprinter started his career with the team in 2012, "and since then, the team has continued to evolve its structure around me," he said in a statement.
"I want to continue building something with this group. We get along really well and the osmosis we have created is essential for my athletic development and progression."
Team manager Marc Madiot added: "The extension of Arnaud is part of the logic of the team: the loyalty, the performance and the requirement of the high level."
AG2R announces new deals with 10 riders
AG2R has extended contracts with 10 riders, it announced Monday. Alexandre Geniez, Clement Chevrier, Quentin Jauregui, and Nans Peters all are back on two-year deals.
Samuel Dumoulin, Hubert Dupont, Alexis Gougeard, Gediminas Bagdonas and Stijn Vandenbergh all received one-year contracts.
The team added an additional year to neo-pro Benoit Cosnefroy, so that his contract now runs through 2020.
"We continue to maintain our trust in riders who have proven themselves in our colours," said team manager Vincent Lavenu. "This cohesion and team spirit are key to our success. Additional contract extensions are currently under discussion."
Van Aert to Jumbo in 2019?
Wout van Aert may well move to the Jumbo team in 2019 instead of 2020, according to reports in the Dutch media, as the main sponsor of his current team may depart.
He currently is contracted to the Professional Continental team Willems Verandas-Crelan through 2019. However, the sponsorship contact with Willems Verandas expires the end of this year, and “several sources” have told telegraaf.nl that the firm will not extend its contract. "As a result, the future of the team is highly uncertain."
Over the weekend, the Dutch and Belgian media announced that van Aert had signed with the Jumbo team (currently LottoNL-Jumbo) for 2020 to 2022.
The Willems Verandas team issued a statement saying that “he is and will remain a rider of the team until end 2019". Van Aert is expected to fulfill his current contract, assuming however that the team has sponsorship and continues.