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by Dane Cash
August 5, 2020
Photography by Gruber Images
Alberto Bettiol, the reigning Tour of Flanders champion, will stick with EF for another season.
The team announced on Wednesday that the 26-year-old Italian, who rode to a fourth-place finish after an aggressive finale at Strade Bianche over the weekend, has signed a contract extension that will keep him with the American WorldTour team through 2021.
“I won Flanders because of this team, and a lot of the important things that have happened in my career is because of this team,” Bettiol said in a press release.
“I feel like the people here really trust me and I have a really great relationship with all the staff and all the riders. Having this kind of relationship makes it a lot easier to spend so many days away from home. This is really important and is one of the reasons why I’m super happy to stay another year.”
Bettiol initially reached the WorldTour with the Cannondale team in 2014 and then spent three years in the Slipstream organization that would ultimately become EF. He spent 2018 with BMC before returning to Jonathan Vaughters’s team for 2019, wasting little time in proving that he was a legitimate Classics contender.
His thrilling solo win at De Ronde also happened to be his first ever victory in a UCI-level race. He has since added another win, taking a time trial stage win at this year’s Etoile des Besseges, and if his strong showing at Strade Bianche is any indication, he will continue to be a rider to watch at the Classics as the revised season progresses.
“Alberto has been a wonderful presence on this team for years now and someone we all absolutely love racing and sitting down to dinner with,” team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said. “His class is apparent, from Flanders to his more recent exploits at Strade Bianche. He’s a major part of this outfit, to say the least.”