Transfer carousel: Astana, Quick Step, Skil-Shimano

Astana, Quick Step and Skil-Shimano have all announced contact extensions with riders for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

Astana has extended his contract with Paolo Tiralongo for two years. The veteran Italian climber will now stay with the Kazakh team through the 2013 season. Tiralongo, 34, won the 19th stage of this year's Giro d'Italia, just ahead of his close friend and former teammate Alberto Contador.

"We are very pleased to keep in our team an exceptional teammate like Paolo. We know that he will devote himself for our leaders with talent,” team manager Giuseppe Martinelli said. “Also, he demonstrated that he can win stages as during the last Giro d'Italia and we leave him new opportunities."

Tiralongo has been with the team for two years and said:  "I have an important role in this team and it can still move forward, I am very happy to continue this adventure for the next two years!”

De Weert stays with Quick Step

Quick Step announced that Kevin De Weert will stay with the Belgian team until 2013, with a option for 2014. The 29-year-old has been with the Belgian team since 2009. He finished 18th overall in the 2010 Tour de France, and is currently 14th in this year's race

"Kevin is proving to have reached an optimal level of maturity,” said team manager Patrick Lefevere in a statement. “He's a serious athlete, an example for the team. After the good 2010 Tour, Kevin is showing that this year he can still progress. The team has faith in him and his abilities.”

"For me it's an enormous satisfaction to be able to keep racing with this team in the future,” De Weert said. “The atmosphere and professionalism inside a team are fundamental ingredients for managing to obtain results at this level. I've found all of this on this team and I'm happy I can continue to do my part in the near future.”

Skil extends with three riders

Dutch Professional Continental team Skil-Shimano said that it has extended its contracts with Germans Simon Geschke and Johannes Fröhlinger and Belgian Bert De Backer.

Geschke, 25, has been with the team since 2009, and received a two-year extension. He landed his first professional win this season when he won the second stage of the Criterium International, taking a mass sprint on an uphill finish. He also finished second overall in this year's Tour du Sud.

Fröhlinger also extended for two years. In his first year with the team, the 26-year-old finished sixth overall in the Tour of Bayern, and was second behind teammate Alexandre Geniez on the queen stage of the Tour of Austria. He has also “showed himself as an attacking cyclist who works hard and coaches the others in the race,” the team said in a statement.

De Backer, 27, will stay with the team for the 2012 season. He “has become a steady asset to the team, who is of great value especially in the sprint train and the classics.” the team said. His season he won the intermediate sprint classification in the Three Days of De Panne and was the overall leader until the time trial in the final stage.

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