Zdenek Stybar has signed a two-year contract extension with Quick-Step Floors that will keep him at the team until the end of the 2019 season. The Czech began his professional career in cyclo-cross and has won three world titles in the discipline, but his transition to the road began in earnest when he signed for Quick-Step in the spring of 2011.
"To be honest, I can't believe I have been with the team since 2011, time surely flies when you are having a good time, but what an amazing journey it has been to race with this squad over the past years," Stybar said in a statement released on Monday. "Having extended my contract for two more seasons means we can continue the great work we started together in 2011, which I am very grateful and happy about."
Stybar's time at Quick-Step has featured stage wins at the Tour de France in 2015 and the Vuelta a España in 2013, as well as victory at the 2015 Strade Bianche and overall victory at the Eneco Tour in 2013.
Stybar has been a part of Quick-Step's cobbled Classics line-up since 2013 and his level of responsibility has grown as the years have progressed. He placed second at Paris-Roubaix in 2015 and 2017, losing out in the sprint on the velodrome on each occasion, to John Degenkolb and Greg Van Avermaet, respectively.
Despite the loss of the retired Tom Boonen, Quick-Step will boast a strong cobbled Classics squad in 2018, with Stybar following 2014 Paris-Roubaix winner Niki Terpstra in renewing with Patrick Lefevere's squad. The team has also signed Elia Viviani from Sky, while Fernandro Gaviria remains in situ.
"This season, we have been once again one of the very best teams in the bunch by winning over and over again in so many different types of races, however, it has not been a personal best season for me," admitted Stybar, whose lone victory to date came in the Czech national championships road race in June.
"Patrick puts a lot of confidence in me by extending my contract, and I am just really motivated to give it back by turning things around and making the next two years extra memorable."
Lefevere waited for Quick-Step Floors to confirm its sponsorship beyond the end of this season before he set about signing up riders for the years to come. Marcel Kittel, Dan Martin and Jack Bauer are among those to depart in 2018, but Lefevere was keen to keep the 31-year-old Stybar on board.
"Everybody knows Zdenek's quality, he is a rider who can shine in almost any type of race," Lefevere said. "He's been part of this great family for seven years now and has achieved many very good results since shifting his attention from cyclo-cross to road cycling, but we still think he has a lot to show, especially in the Classics, and that's why we offered him a new deal, which we are glad he accepted."