Trusted Deceuninck-QuickStep domestiques Dries Devenyns and Iljo Keisse have agreed to new contracts for 2021, as the Belgian team works to retain its core strengths and adapt for the development and talents of Julian Alaphilippe and Remco Evenepoel.
On Friday Yves Lampaert signed a new deal with Deceuninck-QuickStep that will see him in the blue and white of the team until the end of 2022. Now Devenyns and Keisse have agreed contracts for 2021. Team manager Patrick Lefevere has already said he will look to retain much of his current squad for 2021.
"It’s been hard for all of us these strange times," Lefevere said. "I really wanted to take care of our own riders’ expiring contracts first. It’s been a special year. I wouldn’t want them to wait until October or November with the added stress of not having a contract yet."
"Dries has done amazing things before the lockdown. Think of his fantastic win in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and Iljo continues to execute his role flawlessly. They have both proven their services to the team on countless occasions. Being well over 30, they may not be racing for five more years. But we know very well what we can expect of them and what they add to the team. Take it as a clear vote of our confidence."
Devenyns will turn 37 on July 22 and will celebrate his birthday during the team's altitude camp in the Italian Dolomites. He won the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in early February, stepping up after the attack stayed away. He has only won seven races during his 15-year professional career but is valued for his experience and race skills.
"I had been hoping for this contract renewal. I’m glad we came to an agreement so quickly. It is a token of confidence from the team towards me and vice versa," Devenyns said.
"I am very happy to be able to continue riding with the Wolfpack. Also, next year I will do my utmost to help the team win races. I might be a little bit older, but I still feel physically well."
Keisse turned 37 in December and his known for his seven victories at the Gent Six-Day as well as his lead-out skills and hard work as a domestique.
He managed to weather the storm after his expulsion from the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina in January 2019 after he'd feigned a sexual act behind a waitress while posing for a photo during a café stop in training ahead of the race. He apologised and had to pay a fine, and he and the team put the matter behind them.
He is the oldest member of the team and 2021 will be his 12th season with Lefevere's team.
"Not many can say that, only Tom Boonen I think. In any case, I’m very satisfied. It’s a nice gesture from Patrick Lefevere giving me the opportunity to sign a new deal after such a bizarre period, in which we hardly raced," he said.
"My dream is to continue cycling until my 40th birthday, which is on 21 December 2022, so I still have two seasons to go. I’ve now come one year closer to realizing that goal. I will continue to work hard to get there. After a year like this I certainly didn’t want to quit."
“I've been working with the same people for many years here. Together we have won many races, something that will never bore. On the contrary, the urge to win is inherent in this team. It’s addictive."
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