Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe ties himself to Etixx-Quick-Step until the end of the 2017 season

Classics sensation Julian Alaphilippe has signed a new two-year contract with Etixx-Quick-Step, with the Belgian team keen to help him build on his potential.

The Frenchman was one of the surprise packages of the Ardennes Classics, with two second places behind Alejandro Valverde at Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Alaphilippe, 22, continued his fine run of form with two more podium places at last week’s Tour de Romandie and celebrated his success with a new contract.

“I am absolutely happy with this choice,” said Alaphilippe, who is now contracted at Etixx until the end of 2017. “In this team I feel I can develop in the right way, without pressure, and can learn a lot from the staff and from the riders we have on the team.

“I really found my place within the group. I’m an emotional guy, and I think on this team we share the same passion.

“We are professional, but among the riders we are good friends. There is a great atmosphere on the team.

Etixx-Quick-Step is a team where I want to spend the next two years to improve and become a better and stronger rider.”

Etixx-Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere added: “He has a lot to learn, but he is willing to do so. Even we don’t know where his potential stops. So we decided to invest in him and give him time to grow up, step-by-step, surrounded by the team and our staff.