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Van de Walle moves to Omega Pharma-Lotto

Jurgen Van de Walle has crossed the Belgian cycling divide and will leave Quick Step at the end of the season to join rivals Omega Pharma-Lotto. According to his new squad, he has signed a two-year contract.

The 33-year-old turned professional in 1999 and has five victories to his name, including the last two editions of Halle-Ingooigem. He also finished an impressive third in this season’s Brabantse Pijl.

Meanwhile, Frédéric Guesdon has extended his contract with La Française des Jeux for another season, according to L’Equipe. The Breton has been an ever-present in Marc Madiot's squad since its formation in 1997, when he won Paris-Roubaix. He turns 39 in October and in the absence of Christophe Moreau will be the oldest French rider in the peloton in 2011.

Guesdon had previously hinted at retirement ahead of the 2008 season, but victory in that year’s Tro Bro Leon persuaded him to continue. He won Paris-Tours in 2006 and remains the last Frenchman to win Paris-Roubaix. He was competitive on the cobbles this spring and today’s contract extension means that he will again be present to lead FDJ’s classics assault next season.

Roy Curvers (Skil-Shimano) has also extended his contract for 2011. The Dutchman had solid top twenty finishes at both the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Ghent-Wevelgem this season and was a very visible presence throughout the spring. Although he has yet to record a victory in the red and white stripes of Skil-Shimano, Curvers has become a team captain for the squad this season, and management expect him “to continue to make strides” in this area in 2011.

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Barry Ryan

Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.