The Swiss rider turned professional with the South African team this season on a two-year neo-professional contract and burst onto the scene with victory on the gravel stage of the Giro d'Italia.
With Qhubeka-NextHash short of finances and still not in a position to run a team next year, riders have been free to look for contracts elsewhere, and Schmid will wind up at the Belgian team he says he always admired.
"Now coming to this team is a dream that comes true. I have a lot of memories from watching the Classics as a kid and seeing this team always perform," Schmid said.
"It’s about this mentality of always trying to win and this squad that holds together so strong. Here it’s really all or nothing and a lot of guys get the chance to go for a win."
Schmid started out in mountain biking and also raced cyclo-cross his junior and U23 years, which helps explain his stunning win on the spectacular Montalcino stage of this year's Giro.
He has also raced on the track, which led Deceuninck-QuickStep boss Patrick Lefevere to believe he has all-round talent and room for improvement.
"Mauro is still very young, but he already has a Grand Tour stage to his name. The fact that it came in the Montalcino stage only proves what he’s capable of," said Lefevere.
"He still has so much margin to grow, as not so long ago he was still combining different disciplines. Now he’ll focus on the road for the next two years, and we’re more than happy to guide and help him to become better."
Schmid is the fifth new signing for the Belgian team, who will be known as QuickStep-AlphaVinyl in 2022. He joins fellow youngsters Ethan Vernon, Stan Van Tricht, and Martin Svrček, as well as Louis Vervaeke, who has been brought in to bolster Remco Evenepoel's support network.
Evenepoel signed a new long-term deal earlier this year, as did Julian Alaphilippe and Kasper Asgreen, as Lefevere has sought to consolidate his existing roster and inject some youth. Leaving the team are sprinters Sam Bennett and Alvaro Hodeg, as well as Grand Tour contender Joao Almeida.
Early in October, Lefevere revealed he had 29 riders on the books for 2022 and that one space was still open. The announcement of Schmid takes the team's confirmed roster to 27, with three riders on the current squad yet to announce plans for next year: Mark Cavendish, Josef Cerny, and Mattia Cattaneo.
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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.
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