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Belgian phenom Remco Evenepoel will be flying the blue and white colors of Deceuninck-Quick-Step for the next five seasons.
On Tuesday the Flemish team announced that Evenepoel, 21, had inked a new contract with the squad through the 2026 season. That would take Evenepoel through the age of 26.
Evenepoel has already won the European championships in the individual time trial, Clásica San Sebastian, and the Tour of Poland — among other stage races — in his young career.
“I feel really honored to put pen to paper for the next five years,” Evenepoel said in a release. “As Patrick [Lefevere] told me, this is the longest agreement he has ever signed with a rider. I’m really proud and happy to stay in this wonderful team, where I have already enjoyed a lot of success, and hopefully we can reach our big dreams.”
Evenepoel’s five-year deal follows similarly long contract extensions for young up-and-coming stars. In 2018 Egan Bernal inked a four-year deal with Ineos Grenadiers, and Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar recently inked a five-year deal with UAE-Team Emirates.
Evenepoel’s contract cements Deceuninck-Quick-Step as a squad to target GC at grand tours in the years to come. The squad has historically targeted the cobbled classics and other one-day races, with its ambitions in grand tours often focusing on stage victories or other jerseys.
Evenepoel, however, is a talented stage racer who can climb, sprint, and time trial. He was set to make his grand tour debut at the 2020 Giro d’Italia, however a crash at Il Lombardia left Evenepoel with a cracked pelvis, which ended his season. Evenepoel has spent the last few months recovering from the injury.
The team has not announced when Evenepole will return to racing.
“It’s an important step for the future, for the team. Everybody knows what Remco is capable of and how talented he is,” Lefevere said in a release. “As he said, he’s happy, and one of my most important roles is to keep him happy and to put the right people around him. Because I know from experience, and I think I have some after a small 40 years in the sport, that happy people perform better than unhappy people. We’re glad Remco continues with the Wolfpack, and as he said, we hope we’ll enjoy many more great moments together.”