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Fausto Masnada signs three-year extension at QuickStep

Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck-Quickstep)
Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck-Quickstep) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

After a rollercoaster first full season at Deceuninck-QuickStep, Fausto Masnada has signed a new three-year contract extension.

Masnada joined the Belgian team, who will be known as QuickStep-AlphaVinyl next year, part-way through the 2020 season as his old team, CCC, prepared to disband. 

He initially joined on a 17-month contract but, with podiums at the Tour de Romandie and Il Lombardia to his name, he has quickly become an important member of the team and will now stay through 2024.

"When you’re in a team like Deceuninck-QuickStep, you realise it’s a dream," Masnada said. "This year we won the World Tour classification, we're the strongest team. If I would change teams, I would change for what?

"Secondly, I like how it’s all so professional here and how they study everything. Everything is perfect and each member of the team always aims to improve. I believe in the future of the team and I’m here to continue to grow year by year, as I know I can still step up. It’s a magical team, it’s a big family. It’s not just a job, but you feel a real friendship."

Masnada joined the team last August and made an instant impact with ninth overall at the Giro d'Italia while supporting João Almeida. 

This year he started strongly and finished third overall in elite company at the Tour de Romandie, but had to abandon the Giro d'Italia with tendinitis in his knee. He returned to action in July but was soon on the sidelines again with a fractured vertebra from a crash at the Settimana Ciclistica Italiana. 

He bounced back just in time for the late-season Italian Classics and bagged a first Monument podium at Il Lombardia, where he ended up as the lead rider from a star-studded QuickStep line-up but was no match for Tadej Pogacar in the two-up finale.

"Fausto had a hard year, having several setbacks, but he kept working hard, his positive mindset and attitude is what you need to take the most out of it," said Deceuninck-QuickStep boss Patrick Lefevere.

"Every time Fausto raced, he showed what a great asset he is, how he can go full gas for a teammate or go for his own chance whenever he can. I’m happy he could finish off his season with such a strong result at Il Lombardia, and who knows what the future brings. Having him with us for three years longer is fantastic."

The contract renewal for Masnada is the latest in a transfer window that has largely seen Lefevere focus on the consolidation of his existing crop, with Remco Evenepoel, Julian Alaphilippe, and Kasper Asgreen all signing new long-term deals earlier this year.

The team have made four new signings, with Louis Vervaeke joining from Alpecin-Fenix to bolster Evenepoel's support network, while youngsters Stan Van Tricht, Ethan Vernon and Martin Svrček will all turn professional in 2022. 

Leaving the team are Sam Bennett and his lead-out man Shane Archbold, who are returning to Bora-Hansgrohe, along with Almeida and Alvaro Hodeg, who are headed to UAE Team Emirates, and, finally, Ian Garrison, who's joining L39ION of Los Angeles.

Mark Cavendish is understood to be part of the team's plans for next year but a new contract has still yet to be announced, while Mattia Cattaneo and Josef Cerny are the other two riders on the current roster who have not had future plans publicly confirmed.

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Deputy Editor - Europe. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2021 he has been Deputy Editor - Europe, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.