AG2R La Mondiale announced Monday that Oliver Naesen has extended his contract with the team through 2023. The Belgian classics specialist said it was a sign of trust that the team offered him a three-year contract.
"I am very happy to extend for three more seasons. It’s a great mark of trust from the AG2R La Mondiale team. Since 2017, the team has not stopped progressing, either in sport or in its structure and approach. Why look elsewhere for what works so well here?" Naesen said in a team press release from the French team.
"The group of classics racers is improving every year and it will be even better in the future. There is a very good atmosphere in the team as well. I am very ambitious for the seasons to come."
Naesen has competed for AG2R La Mondiale since 2017, and before that he raced for teams IAM Cycling, Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Cibel and Lotto Belisol.
He is a strong Classics rider with results that include two victories at Bretagne Classic, second place at Milan-San Remo, twice second overall at the Eneco Tour, and a third place at Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Tours, and winner of the Belgian Championship.
"Extending Oliver Naesen's contract for three years is a great satisfaction," said team manager Vincent Lavenu.
"Oliver is one of the executives on the team, who has grown up with us. He is now one of the best classic racers in the world and we will build a successful team by his side so that he can achieve his sporting goals.
"Beyond his quality as a rider, it’s the man, his values and his joie de vivre, that is such an important element in the life of the whole team."
This year, Naesen competed in a series of spring stage races and one-day events before the cycling season came to a halt due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The UCI announced a revised WorldTour calendar that is set to begin on August 1 at Strade Bianche and include many of the major one-day Classics.
The Tour de France has been rescheduled for August 29-September 20 followed by the Giro d'Italia from October 3-25 and the Vuelta a España from October 20-November 8.
"I can't wait to start the racing season again on August 1, following what has been a very extraordinary situation for everyone," Naesen said.
"With the Tour de France taking place before the classics, it’s ideal for a rider like me. The calendar is busy but not overloaded, and everything will be in place so that I have a good year."
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