One year and four months — that’s how long it has been since Pete Stetina, 29, crashed into an unmarked metal traffic post in Spain, breaking his right tibia, patella, and four ribs. If his consistent 2016 season — including second place in the Amgen Tour of California’s queen stage — wasn’t proof enough that the climber has recovered, Tuesday’s announcement that he’ll race with Trek – Segafredo for two more years is clear confirmation.
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“I’m beyond excited to continue with Trek – Segafredo. They believed in me when I was sidelined last year, and loyalty means a lot to me,” Stetina said in a team statement. “I will finish this year content, but not satisfied. If you had told me last year, while I struggled to walk, that I would recover my leg strength, show my potential in the California mountains, and race the Tour de France as a high mountain domestique, I would have taken that deal in a heartbeat!”
Stetina is likely to be more valuable as a top support rider in the mountains with the arrival of Alberto Contador in 2017 to the ascendant Trek team. The American squad, which brought on co-sponsor Segafredo coffee company in 2016, has also bolstered its classics line-up with John Degenkolb, who will aim to fill Fabian Cancellara’s shoes, as the Swiss strongman retires this autumn.
For his part, Stetina wants to ride for his own results in the coming seasons, in addition to his work as a domestique.
“But I am still hungry: I missed that big result. I’ve already got an eye toward 2017, when I can have a normal winter training, and not play catch-up all spring but actually race in the front. As usual, I’ll take my chances in one-week races especially in the USA, and support my Trek – Segafredo teammates in the high mountains of the WorldTour and grand tours.”
Trek – Segafredo also announced that Japanese rider Fumiyuki Beppu would continue with the team through 2018.