Another renewal for Deceuninck-QuickStep as Bagioli signs new deal

BERGAMO ITALY OCTOBER 09 Andrea Bagioli of Italy and Team Deceuninck QuickStep competes during the 115th Il Lombardia 2021 a 239km race from Como to Bergamo ilombardia UCIWT on October 09 2021 in Bergamo Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at Il Lombardia (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Andrea Bagioli has become the latest rider to extend his contract with Deceuninck-QuickStep, adding two years to his stay at the team to take him to the end of 2023.

The 22-year-old Italian is the 17th rider on the team to extend his contract this year, having turned pro with the squad in 2020.

He said in a statement issued by the team that there was never any doubt about staying with a squad, who – as of now – have 24 riders under contract for 2022, when they will be known as QuickStep-AlphaVinyl.

"When Patrick [Lefevere - team boss] said that he wanted to keep me in the team, I agreed immediately," Bagioli said. "I am super happy to be staying for two more years because I think this is the perfect team to help me improve and develop as a rider.

"I have really enjoyed the two years I have spent here so far. The first year, with the initial impact of Covid, was very strange, and this year with my knee injury was hard, so I am really ready to give it my all for the next two years."

So far, Bagioli has taken three wins with the team, last year picking up a stage apiece at the Tour de l'Ain and Settimana Coppi e Bartali before triumphing at the Royal Bernard Drôme Classic in February.

This year, he spent the bulk of the season away from racing due to a knee injury, returning in July and then making his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España, where he picked up second, third, and fourth placings on stages. He ended his season at Il Lombardia.

"I took my first win with the team at Tour de l’Ain, which was one of the first races after the lockdown. It was a big breakthrough for me and a super moment when I beat a big rider like Primož Roglič in the sprint. Then I won again, at Coppi e Bartali, which made for a good initial season, and I would like to push on now to win some important races. I made my Grand Tour debut in the Vuelta later in the year, but was not able to finish it, which I managed to do this year," Bagioli said.

"The knee injury kept me off my bike for five months, which was a difficult time, and it was hard to come back to racing after so long. I had to stay one month completely confined to my bed with my leg straight – it was really hard to watch races like Romandie on television, but my family and the team kept my spirits up.

"When we decided that I would go to the Vuelta, I was not sure how I would be, after so long off the bike, but my ride in the Tour de l’Ain showed that my condition was good. I came so close to a stage win twice at the Vuelta, which I look back on with both pride and frustration. It was special to be up there, especially after the work that I put in after the injury, but when you are so close it is a pity. I will learn a lot from it though and I hope to put it right soon."

This week, Bagioli was awarded the Giglio d'Oro's Gastone Nencini prize for the best young Italian rider in recognition of his riding over the past two seasons, making it a double celebration for him.

"The name translates to a golden flower, and it is awarded to the best young rider of the year," he said. "It is an important award for cycling in Italy and to be recognised is very special to me. They were not able to hold the ceremony last year, because of Covid, so everybody has been looking forward to this year’s event and it will be special.

"And then I have two years with Deceuninck-QuickStep to look forward to. For sure I want to win some big races in that time and hope to take some Grand Tour stages. At some point I would of course like to ride the Giro, but I also want to help the team to win the important races, like the Monuments and the Classics."

Only five riders on the Deceuninck-QuickStep roster this season have yet to announce their future plans, with Mattia Cattaneo, Josef Cerny, Mikkel Honoré, Mark Cavendish, and Fausto Masnada all out of contract this winter.

Sam Bennett, Shane Archbold, Ian Garrison, João Almeida, and Alvaro Hodeg are on the outgoing list for 2022, while the team has signed up youngsters Stan Van Tricht, Ethan Vernon, and Martin Svrcek.

Yves Lampaert and Mauri Vansevenant were already under contract with the squad, while the rest of the team – including the likes of Kasper Asgreen, Julian Alaphilippe, Fabio Jakobsen, and Remco Evenepoel – have signed extensions during 2021. 

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