Van Avermaet on Flanders: ‘I hope this year is my year’; Benoot ‘ready to go full on Sunday’; Degenkolb says Flanders leadership is for Stuyven, he will target Roubaix; Gilbert: ‘We are confident in the team’s strength’; Vanmarcke, Langeveld re-sign with EF Education First – Drapac; Brennauer: Even without Longo Borghini, Wiggle High5 ‘has more than one card to play’; Martinez released from hospital, will not race until concussion is gone; Commemorating Mike Hall; Video: Maniac Does Wheelies On An Exposed Beam 130 Feet High
Favourites talk chances prior to Flanders, Vanmarcke extends: Daily News Digest
One day before the Tour of Flanders, Classics specialists Sep Vanmarcke and Sebastian Langeveld have inked new deals with the EF Education First-Drapac team. Both are key one-day riders in the sport. Vanmarcke has won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, finished second in both Paris-Roubaix and Gent-Wevelgem, third (twice) in the Tour of Flanders, and was third in this week’s Dwars door Vlaanderen. Langeveld is also a past winner of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and was third in last year’s Paris-Roubaix.
“I’m thrilled to be able to bring Sep and Sebas back in the coming seasons — these guys are Classics cornerstones, good people, and beneficial to the whole organization,” said team CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “But, more importantly, these re-signings mark the first time since 2012 that we’ve had the fiscal stability to think about the future beyond one or two seasons. The long-term, strategic objective we’ve been given is to design a team to perform both now and later. And that’s very exciting.
“We’re on the market looking to create the best roster we possibly can. This is the first step in us building a team that’s built to perform across the calendar and over the years. We will be signing some more exciting riders coming up.”
Vanmarcke was with the team between 2011 and 2012, and returned last season. “I feel good in this team. I was really happy to come back in 2017,” he said. “When the team was in trouble at the end of last season, other teams showed they were interested in hiring me, but I waited because I really was hoping our team would get a new sponsor and could continue. I was so happy when it happened. I gave the team my trust. Now the team gave me their trust by giving me a new contract until 2020. That gives me a lot of motivation.”