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Belgian proud to continue with the team
Omega Pharma-QuickStep domestique and Classics rider Stijn Vandenbergh has extended his contract with the Belgian team for a further two years. 30-year-old Vandenbergh joined the WorldTour team in 2012 having spent the three previous years with Katusha.
"I'm happy," said Vandenbergh who turned pro in 2007 and spent 2008 with Ag2r. 'It's great news for me and it's best for me to stay with this team. As a Belgian, I'm proud to be part of a Belgian based team with an international dimension. On this team I have come to know everybody well, from the riders to the staff. It is a team where I can feel the confidence around me. It represents the job I've done so far, what the team has done to help me develop, and the respect the team has for me as a rider.
"I'm here on this team to help out my teammates, which is an important job when it comes to team strategy. I also know that there can be occasions where I will have my space to try and go for a win. With this combination, I am truly happy to stay with OPQS and look forward to the future."
While yet to win a professional race and absent from riding grand tours since the 2010 Tour de France, Vandenbergh has been a key domestique in the Spring Classics and has proven that when given the opportunity, he can get results as his fourth place at this year's Tour of Flanders suggests.
The general manager of the team, Patrick Lefevere, is currently trying to negotiate new contracts for several of his riders and displayed his pleasure at securing the services of Vandenbergh for the upcoming season.
"This team will exist for the next few years," Lefevere said. "So, it is important for us to confirm the riders who deserve to stay with us. Vandenbergh is a committed, loyal guy. He grew up as a rider with the team and he is still improving. I know we can count on his skills as a rider, but also as a person."