Keisse to Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 2012

Iljo Keisse will ride for Omega Pharma-Quick Step in the coming year, he announced Tuesday afternoon. In other transfer news, Gorik Gardeyn will join the new Chinese team Champion System.

"Fantastic news! So proud being part of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team next year!" the 29-year-old tweeted.

Keisse tested positive at the Gent Six Day race in November 2008, and was given a two-year suspension. The ban was lifted at the end of 2009, and he signed with Quick Step for 2010 and 2011. This summer the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that he must serve his worldwide ban, which expired in August, and he must now also sit out his ban within Belgium, which runs through January 27. 

Because of his legal problems, Keisse rode very little for Quick Step this season, and his contract was initially not renewed. He did not give up hope of finding a team for the coming season, and the end of November noted that the newly merged Omega Pharma-Quick Step team “still has a place available.”

Gardeyn signed a contract to ride with Champion System in 2012, having signed his contract on Christmas day, the Gazet van Antwerpen said.  He rode for Vacansoleil the last two years. The 31-year-old won the Nationale Sluitingsprijs in 2006.

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