Michael Matthews has signed a two-year contract extension with Team Sunweb, staying with the team until the end of the 2021 season. Chad Haga and Cees Bol have both also put pen to paper on similar deals.
News of the renewals was revealed at Team Sunweb's pre-Tour de France press conference in the Netherlands on Wednesday. Matthews is going into the race with something of a free role, and last week reacted to team leader Tom Dumoulin's absence by saying he was "totally confused" and didn't know "where to go from here".
Matthews appeared to question the team's approach, noting the manager had "told us from the start of the year that we shouldn’t have any ambitions ourselves – it's just everything for the yellow", leading to question marks over his future, but he signed a new deal ahead of the Tour.
"I'm very happy to be with Team Sunweb for another two years," Matthews said. "I have had an incredible two and a half years in the team, with many great memories. I think it's a good environment for me to keep developing and I cannot wait to gather more memories with our big family at Team Sunweb."
Matthews joined Sunweb in 2017 on a three-year deal after starting his career at Rabobank and then spending four seasons at Mitchelton-Scott. He has won 10 races in his two-and-a-half years with the German-registered team, enjoying a particularly successful Tour de France in his debut season in which he won two stages and the green jersey. He has faced setbacks, primarily due to crashes and injuries, and has been hampered in the spring classics, but last autumn he won both the GP de Québec and GP de Montréal.
This year he crashed out of Paris-Nice, but returned to take two stage wins at the Volta a Catalunya, before finishing sixth at the Tour of Flanders, fourth at De Brabantse Pijl, and eighth at La Flèche Wallonne. At the recent Tour de Suisse he grabbed two podium placings but did not start the final stage.
"We are pleased to extend the contract with Michael. It was a really successful trip in the past two and a half seasons with some highlights," said Sunweb coach Luke Roberts.
"Michael's work ethic goes very well with the philosophy of the team. He is always very motivated to give everything for the common goals of the team. I am sure that together we can celebrate some more successes."
Following his stage win in the final time trial at the Giro d'Italia, Chad Haga has also signed a new two-year deal. The 30-year-old turned pro with the team in 2014 and has become a key domestique, helping Dumoulin to Giro glory in 2017 but also getting a rare taste of his own success at the race last month.
"My whole career has been about making steady progress and improvement, and Team Sunweb's philosophy and culture line up with my own perfectly to make that happen," Haga said. "Every year has been better than the last, so I have every reason to stay. I have been a part of the team's greatest successes and even had some of my own along the way, and I'm excited to see what we can do together in the next two years."
The last of the trio of contract extensions is Cees Bol, who has had an outstanding neo-pro season so far. The Dutchman joined Sunweb on a full-time basis this year after riding as a stagiaire at the end of 2018, and has already won three races: Nokere Koerse and a stage apiece at the Tour of California and Tour of Norway.
The 23-year-old, who has a strong sprint and a bright future in the spring classics, signed on initially with a two-year deal but Sunweb have struck early in securing his services for an extra year, through to the end of 2021.
"I've had a dream start with the team," Bol said. "To win three races in my first season as a neo-pro is great. I'm really looking forward to continuing my development and making the next steps in my career with the team and I feel like this is the right place for me. We will continue to fight for more great results in the future."
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.