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Tour of Flanders champion Niki Terpstra leaves Quick-Step Floors for Direct Energie

Joe Robinson
16 Aug 2018

In a surprise move, two-time Monument champion Terpstra leaves Quick-Step after eight years for Direct Energie

Tour of Flanders champion Niki Terpstra is set to join Direct Energie in a surprising move that sees the Dutchman drop out of the WorldTour.  

Direct Energie confirmed the signature of the two-time Monument winner via their website on Thursday commenting that the signing 'symbolises the ambition' of the team.

In what can only be considered a major coup for the ProContinental French team, the presence of Terpstra will undoubtedly help the team secure invites to the biggest one-day Classics and stage races in the calendar.

Terpstra will leave Quick-Step Floors after eight seasons in which he became one of the world's best Spring Classics riders. 

The 34-year-old joined a select band of riders to have completed the Spring Classics double after adding this year's Tour of Flanders to his 2014 victory at Paris-Roubaix. Beyond these two Monument wins, Terpstra also counts wins at semi-classics E3-Harelbeke, Dwars door Vlaanderen and Le Samyn to his palmares. 

Victory at Flanders and E3 Harelbeke earlier this season, alongside a third place at Roubaix a week later, saw Terpstra end the Spring Classics as one of the standout riders of 2018.

Patrick Lefevere recently confirmed that Terpstra had yet to sign a new contract with the team as it looked to replace Quick-Step Floors as primary team sponsor. The Belgian team owner stated that Terpstra had given the team time to find a suitor but that no deal had been done.

The Belgian superteam remains without a primary sponsor for next season and beyond and although it looks set to continue for the foreseeable future, a lack of funding could limit the amount of money available for rider wages.

From Terpstra's side, he says he sees this as an ambitious move that will help him achieve some of the few goals he still has to achieve in professional cycling 

'I was impressed by the Direct Energie this season during the Flanders Classics where the riders of the team were continually involved in the race. Damien Gaudin, Sylvain Chavanel and Adrien Petit were among the great animators of the Belgian countryside. I also enjoyed their offensive state of mind at the Tour de France: I like it!' commented Terpstra.

'I dream to bring Direct Energie a prestigious victory at a great Classic. And above all, to win a stage at the Tour de France.'

Direct Energie team manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau also commented on the move stating, 'Welcoming a rider of the calibre of Niki is a coup for Direct Energie. He has character and ambition, like us! I am happy to see that he shares our values and wishes to be part of our project.'

The move could also help the French team's ambitions to return to WorldTour level after four years away from pro cycling's top division, with Bernaudeau confirming earlier this month that the team would be applying for a WorldTour licence in 2019.