Keisse commits to Deceuninck-Quick-Step – if they’ll have him

Keisse's contract with the team is up at the end of the year and knows he will have to prove himself to earn an extension.

Veteran Belgian Iljo Keisse is looking to extend his contract with Deceuninck-Quick-Step, but knows he will have to prove he’s good for it.

Keisse, now 37 years old, has been racing in Quick-Step colors since 2010. Although his contract expires this winter, he’s not done yet and hopes to extend his career with the Belgian outfit. Speaking with Het Nieuwsblad this week, the track and road stalwart acknowledged that fighting for a contract renewal in a year of racing blighted by coronavirus won’t be straightforward.

“You’re only as good as your last game,” Keisse said. “Under normal circumstances, my contact extension might already have been in jugs and jars. I have already spoken to [team manager] Patrick Lefevere, but it makes sense that he can do nothing now.”

Keisse is having to reconsider his road season after the re-designed calendar for the year sees his initial goals of the classics and Giro d’Italia overlap, and is willing to take on races that he would not normally so as to prove himself to team heads.

“It is up to me to prove that I am still worth a contract for 2021,” Keisse said. “I will have to enforce it by bicycle.”

After a decade with Quick-Step, Keisse struggles to contemplate switching teams.

“Never say never,” he said when asked about transferring elsewhere. “But I’ve been on this super team for 10 years, one of the best teams in the world. Taking a step back becomes difficult. Even if I could earn more with another team, I still want to stay here. ”