Vanmarcke extends two years with Belkin

Belgian will stay with Belkin through 2016 after signing two-year extension

The Dutch Belkin team has signed Sep Vanmarcke to a two-year contract extension, it announced on the eve of E3 Harelbeke, where the Belgian will start as a favorite. Vanmarcke’s new deal expires at the end of 2016.

“Sep is a diamond in the rough,” general manager Richard Plugge said in a press release. “Especially when it comes to the Flemish classic races. Sep is a very strong guy, who has a lot of potential. It is only logical that we wanted to extend his contract, we want to keep the backbone of our team as strong as possible.”

After a breakout classics season with Garmin-Sharp in 2012, Vanmarcke rode to second behind Fabian Cancellara at Paris-Roubaix last season. Many view the 25-year-old as the successor to Tom Boonen as Belgium’s top classics rider.

“Team Belkin is my best option when I look at my future,” he said. “I feel at home here. There is a lot of mutual trust and the team does everything in its power to assist me in the classics, which is very important to me. The whole team is very motivated. The sports directors have strong ties with the Cruyff Institute and it is good to see that they, just like the riders, work hard to improve.”