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Iljo Keisse (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
Belgian happy to continue domestique role
Omega Pharma-Quick Step have announced that 31-year-old Iljo Keisse has been handed a two-year contract extension with the WorldTour team. Keisse has been with the team for five seasons and recently rode the Giro d'Italia. While he has just one road win to his name, Keisse has over 50 victories on the track and regularly races and wins six-day events.
"When I started with this team, we had just begun to build up our strength year-by-year," Keisse said. "I think that I also did my part in this and I evolved as a rider. At this moment we are good in every race and every situation. So, to me, as a Belgian guy, this feels special to be a part of a Belgian based team who can now compete everywhere. I don't win races by myself, but to me it means just as much to contribute to the victories of my teammates.
"If your team appreciates your job and your boss offers you a new contract based on your hard work, it is a great feeling. It means that my job was impressive and they know my value on a team like OPQS. It's a special feeling and I hope this gives me wings for the future. Also, the environment of the team is something I enjoy and this motivates me to ride my bike more and more each year."
For the team manager of Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Patrick Lefevere, the re-signing of loyal domestique Keisse is key to ensuring further success on the road for the team which already has 44 wins to its name in 2014.
"Iljo arrived in the team a few years ago in a difficult moment of his professional career," Lefevere said. "He has shown more and more that he is a guy you can trust, who also can build the trust of his teammates with each other. He is a complete rider that puts himself at the service of others without hesitation. In this team we need a guy like Iljo who is smart, and always aware of the race situation. He can become a special part of the team in the next two years."