Vervaeke joins Deceuninck-QuickStep to bolster Evenepoel's support in mountains

Giro d'Italia 2021 - 104th Edition - 4th stage Piacenza - Sestola 187 km - 11/05/2021 - Louis Vervaeke (BEL - Alpecin-Fenix) - photo Tommaso Pelagalli/BettiniPhoto©2021
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Louis Vervaeke will ride for Deceuninck-QuickStep in 2022 after signing a two-year contract with the squad. The Belgian arrives from Alpecin-Fenix, where he spent the past two seasons.

A strong climber, Vervaeke won the Ronde de l’Isard in 2014 before graduating from Lotto’s under-23 squad to the WorldTour set-up. He left Lotto Soudal for Team Sunweb in 2018 before moving on to Alpecin-Fenix ahead of the 2020 season.

“Every rider looks up to Deceuninck–QuickStep. When I was little, I bought myself a blue jersey and raced while wearing it with my brother and friends in the street, and now getting to wear this jersey in the pro peloton is incredible,” Vervaeke said in a statement released by the team on Thursday.

The 28-year-old has ridden largely in supporting roles during his professional career. He enjoyed his best Grand Tour performance at the 2021 Giro d’Italia, where he placed 20th overall in Milan and finished fourth on the first mountainous stage to Sestola.

Deceuninck-QuickStep – who will race under the QuickStep-Alpha Vinyl banner in 2022 – have focused largely on consolidating their existing roster this off-season. After the signing of neo-professionals Stan Van Tricht, Ethan Vernon and Martin Svrček, Vervaeke is the first rider to join from another WorldTour team for 2022.

Team CEO Patrick Lefevere said that Vervaeke had been signed with a view to bolstering his team in the Grand Tours. 

Remco Evenepoel is expected to target the general classification at either the Giro d’Italia or Vuelta a España in 2022, while Julian Alaphilippe will again race the Tour de France, where he placed fifth overall in 2019.

“We have a long-term vision to fight for a Grand Tour overall victory, and for that we also need strong helpers for the mountains,” Lefevere said. 

“Louis possesses a lot of qualities, can support our leaders on the climbs and can maybe go for his own chance whenever an opportunity arises. We hope to give Louis a nice environment in which he feels well and where he can further develop.”

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