Road

Belgian trackie Iijo Keisse lands 2012 deal with Omega Pharma-Quick-Step

Belgian trackie Iijo Keisse has extended his contract, which will keep him with the new-look Omega Pharma-Quick-Step through the 2012 season.

Belgian trackie Iijo Keisse has extended his contract, which will keep him with the new-look Omega Pharma-Quick-Step through the 2012 season.

The Belgian outfit announced Tuesday that the Keisse will have freedom to mix his track racing with days on the road.

“Iljo’s contract renewal will allow the team to participate in one more prestigious discipline in cycling, that is track cycling, which attracts a significant level of fans,” said team manager Patrick Lefevere.

“We’re also convinced that Iljo can be useful to the team’s cause, even on road trials in which he’ll be called on to compete.”

Keisse, 28, joined Quick-Step in 2010 despite a long-running dispute over a positive test for cathine and a diuretic in a case dating back to 2009. He denied wrong-doing and later saw a ban handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport overturned by a Belgian Court of Appeals.

“I’m very happy with the fact that the team, the sponsors and Lefevere have renewed their faith in me,” Keisse explains. “2012 will be an important year for me and I’m happy to be able to race in the same background I’ve spent the last few years in.

“In the upcoming weeks I’m going to continue my activities on the track with the Six Days races in Rotterdam, Bremen and Berlin. I’ll probably also be at the starting line in Copenhagen.

“As far as road racing goes, I still don’t have a schedule. In the next several weeks we’ll be working with the team’s technical staff to figure things out.”