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by Shane Stokes
August 3, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Van Poppel wins stage five of the Tour of Poland, Sagan keeps yellow; Trentin takes stage two of the Vuelta a Burgos; Perrone and Matthiessen take junior and U23 European time trial titles; Tour de France King of the Mountains Barguil and Moinard join Fortuneo-Oscaro squad; Gallopin and Ag2r La Mondiale commit for two years; Alaphilippe extends contract with QuickStep Floors team; UAE Team Emirates announces pending two-year deal with Alexander Kristoff; Shimano sneaks in new 105 front derailleur featuring trickle-down tech; Transcontinental update: Lenhard’s lead slims as race favourite stalks; Armstrong’s ‘Stages’ podcast to cover the Colorado Classic and Velorama MusicFestival; Video: CrossFit Games Cyclocross Course; Video: The inside story of Team Dimension Data’s Tour de France
Two days after the QuickStep Floors squad announced that it would extend the current contract of Bob Jungels, it has done the same in relation to the Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe. Describing him as one of the best young riders in the peloton and someone who is ‘touted by many as a future superstar of the sport,’ it referenced his successes earlier this year.
“This season, Julian took Paris-Nice by storm, riding to victory on the race’s sole individual time trial and conquering both the green and white jersey – a performance no one else has achieved in the entire history of the event – before sprinting to third from a reduced group in his maiden Milano-Sanremo. [This was] a result which further underlined his potential and versatility.”
He has since been sidelined with a knee injury, but was able to return to racing a fortnight ago at the Grand Prix Cerami. This week he was third on stage one of the Vuelta a Burgos and remains in the same position overall after Wednesday’s stage two.
“It was always my goal to stay with the team. For me, continuing with Quick-Step Floors is the perfect scenario,” he said. “I’ve made many good friends here and I feel at home. It’s basically my second family. The support I have from both Patrick and the team gives me a lot of confidence. Extending my contract means I can focus 100% on the important things and continue my progression.”
Team manager Patrick Lefevere said that the two-year extension was an easy decision to make. “We signed with him three and a half years ago, as we saw a bright future in him and believed we could help him become even better and reach his goals. Since then, Julian has grown a lot and we are only confident he has not reached his full potential.”