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Lampaert: This may end up being a season to forget

Yves Lampaert leads his Deceuninck-QuickStep teammates at the 2020 Paris-Nice
Yves Lampaert leads his Deceuninck-QuickStep teammates at the 2020 Paris-Nice (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Deceuninck-QuickStep's Yves Lampaert has said that the coronavirus-struck 2020 season may end up as being one to forget, although the former Belgian road race champion – who finished second to Trek-Segafredo's Jasper Stuyven at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February – will reach the end of his contract with Patrick Lefevere's WorldTour squad after this year, and so would like the opportunity to further show himself.

"Let's hope that we get the Belgian Championships [in June] as the first goal," Lampaert told Sporza.be on Tuesday. "And I like Patrick's proposal of the Ardennes Classics taking place before the World Championships [in Switzerland in September], and the Flemish Classics happening after that.

"That would be a nice compromise," he said. "I hope they don't extend the season until November, as that would be a bit too much, and it would also put us in trouble for preparing for the 2021 season."

On Sunday, April 12, Lampaert should have been ready to try to improve on his third place at last year's Paris-Roubaix, but the postponement of 'The Hell of the North' means that he instead finds himself trying to hold some kind of fitness for whenever the racing recommences, and helping out his parents on their farm.

"Normally, I never have much time to come to my parents' farm during this period, because cycling requires a lot of time and energy," said Lampaert. "But I miss it. It's now high-season for sowing and planting, and the leeks also need to be picked.

"Fortunately, I'm still enjoying myself on the bike," he said, "but there are also boys who are now wondering: for whom or what am I doing this? It's therefore nice that I can get a breath of fresh air on the farm. Doing something other than lying in the armchair for an afternoon is also very pleasant."

The combination of a lack of racing and the rapid approach of his contract with Deceuninck-QuickStep being up at the end of the season might have played more on the minds of other riders.

"But I'm not really worried," said Lampaert. "I think I deserve my place in the team and in the pro peloton.

"It should normally be one of my better contracts, but we'll have to wait and see what direction cycling sponsorship goes in," he admitted, with Deceuninck-QuickStep and fellow Belgian WorldTour team Lotto Soudal – along with all other pro teams – facing potential budget cuts in the near future.

"Fortunately, I made it onto the podium at the Omloop, but this may end up being a season to forget."