Following the likes of teammate Yves Lampaert, now also his fellow countrymen have extended their expiring contract with Deceuninck – Quick-Step.
Dries Devenyns and Iljo Keisse, the Wolfpack’s two senior riders, not only bring their vast experience to the group, they also continue to perform on a high level, according to CEO Patrick Lefevere: “Dries has done amazing things before the lockdown”, he says. “Think of his fantastic win in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. And Iljo continues to execute his role flawlessly. They have both proven their services to the team on countless occasions. Being well over thirty, they may not be racing for five more years. But we know very well what we can expect of them and what they add to the team. Take it as a clear vote of our confidence.”
With the contract renewals of Devenyns, Keisse and Lampaert, Lefevere has now secured an extended stay with Deceuninck – Quick-Step for three of the team’s most seasoned and valued riders: “It’s been hard for all of us these strange times”, he explained. “I really wanted to take care of our own riders’ expiring contracts first. It’s been a special year. I wouldn’t want them to wait until October or November with the added stress of not having a contract yet.”
Dries Devenyns, who turns 37 in a couple of weeks, already looks forward to what will be his tenth season with the team: “I had been hoping for this contract renewal. I’m glad we came to an agreement so quickly. It is a token of confidence from the team towards me and vice versa. I am very happy to be able to continue riding with the Wolfpack. Also, next year I will do my utmost to help the team win races. I might be a little bit older, but I still feel physically well. I really look forward to an extra year with Deceuninck – Quick-Step.”
Iljo Keisse, at 37 the oldest and most experienced member of the Wolfpack, awaits his twelfth consecutive season with the squad. “Not many can say that, only Tom Boonen I think”, he said, commenting on his contract renewal. “In any case, I’m very satisfied. It’s a nice gesture from Patrick Lefevere giving me the opportunity to sign a new deal after such a bizarre period, in which we hardly raced. It is a very nice token of his appreciation. My dream is to continue cycling until my 40th birthday, which is on 21 December 2022, so I still have two seasons to go. I’ve now come one year closer to realizing that goal. I will continue to work hard to get there. After a year like this I certainly didn’t want to quit.”
“I’m very happy to continue to be part of this team, the best in the world in the races I like to do. I’ve been working with the same people for many years here. Together we have won many races, something that will never bore. On the contrary, the urge to win is inherent in this team. It’s addictive. Furthermore, the presence of all the young and talented riders I get to work with motivates me to be at my best. It’s an extra incentive because you have to work for it”, concluded the seven-time winner of the Gent Six-Day.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images