Advertisement

Sign up for our newsletter

Advertisement

Julian Alaphilippe sticks with Deceuninck-Quickstep until 2021

Joe Robinson
3 Jun 2019

Frenchman turns down lucrative offers to remain at Belgian WorldTour team

Deceuninck-Quickstep have secured the services of Milan-San Remo champion Julian Alaphilippe for a further two years ending speculation of a big money move. The team confirmed that Alaphilippe had signed a two-year contract extension which will see him ride for the Belgian WorldTour squad through to 2021.

The 26-year-old confirmed the rumours that other teams had attempted to sign him, in a statement, but that his priority was always to remain at Deceuninck-Quickstep.

'This is the team which gave me the chance to turn pro six years ago and where I feel at home,' Alaphilippe said. 'It’s my second family and I am very grateful for all the support I have received over the years as part of the amazing Wolfpack.

'I had also other offers, but my priority was always to ink a new deal with Deceuninck-QuickStep, because this squad has a unique spirit and winning mentality which make up for a perfect environment to develop.

'I’m happy I could sign this contract before the second part of the season, which I am ready to kick off at the Criterium du Dauphine next week.'

Direct Energie were reported to have offered the reigning Tour de France KOM jersey champion a deal worth €4million per year in an attempt to outprice Alaphilippe's current team.

Deceuninck team manager Patrick Lefevere admitted that he was unable to match such a lucrative offer but would do all in his power to convince the supremely talented rider to stay put.

Lefevere was successful in doing so and is now looking forward to more success with Alaphilippe.

'Julian is part of our incredible family and signing a new contract with him was one of our top priorities,' Lefevere explained. 'We took him aboard when he was very young as part of our policy to invest in the up-and-coming talents, which we carefully nurture to become great riders.

'Julian is one of these riders, but he’s more than just a champion – capable of winning a wide range of races – he is also a nice and charismatic person, and we are extremely happy that he’ll continue to sport the team colours over the next two seasons, when we hope to enjoy many other beautiful and memorable victories together.'

Alaphilippe has been the stand-out rider of 2019 so far, taking 10 victories including Milan-San Remo, Strade Bianche and Fleche Wallonne.

He will return to racing at the Criterium du Dauphine later this week following an elongated break from racing after the Ardennes Classics.

From there, Alaphilippe will spearhead Deceuninck-Quickstep at the Tour de France searching for stage wins and helping teammate Enric Mas on his fight for General Classification.