Omega Pharma-QuickStep riders Carlos Verona and Martin Velits have re-signed with the WorldTour team for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Both riders recently completed the Vuelta a España with Verona impressing on stage 14, while Velits was 130th overall having ridden as a domestique for Rigoberto Uran before the Colombian withdrew from the race due to illness.
Verona is in his second season as a pro and the 21-year-old explained his pleasure at extending his stay with the team.
"I'm excited to be continuing my career with Omega Pharma-QuickStep, a team that has supported my growth as a young guy," Verona said. "I came to this team with ambitions to develop as a rider, but I also love the way the team uses technology to engage with fans, something I love to do. The OPQS philosophy of team spirit is something I really like and think it has helped me feel comfortable learning in a professional environment. I am happy to keep developing with OPQS colors on my back for the next two years."
Velits, 29, has been with the team since the 2012 season and the time trial specialist was pleased with the extension, adding that he is looking forward to helping out the team's bid for more overall classification success.
"I'm looking forward to my future with OPQS, after being with the team for several years now," Velits said. "I've really embraced my role as a rider able to work for my teammates. I've been a part of some strong teams and I think we will continue to get better in the next years.
"I want to evolve as a cyclist under the umbrella of OPQS, with great support from staff and riders that are as much friends as teammates."
The two riders at the latest to re-sign or join the team for 2015 and beyond, and CEO Patrick Lefevere expressed his pleasure having guaranteed the services of Verona and Velits for two more seasons.
"Both these riders had great performances at La Vuelta and throughout the season," Lefevere said. "Martin Velits is a developed rider, but he showed true professionalism and a great attitude throughout the three weeks. Carlos Verona is still discovering himself, but showed the results of hard preparation for his first grand tour in Spain. He was clearly proud to ride for us in his home country.
"I think both Velits and Verona are both a good fit for our team and I personally look forward to seeing what each can do over the next two seasons."