Tour of Flanders champion to stay at Belgian team until 2019

Philippe Gilbert will ride for Quick-Step Floors until at least 2019 after agreeing a two-year contract extension with the Belgian team.

The winner of the 2017 Tour of Flanders had been one of a number of big-name riders linked with a move away from the team as it struggled to secure major sponsors for the 2018 season.

However the two-time national champion has now signed an extension to his current one-year contract, committing his future to the team until the end of 2019.

“It was my dream to extend the contract and I knew that after winning De Ronde and Amstel this would be possible,” Gilbert said.

“I am sure I can still win some big races and that I will get my chances. It would be a dream come true to win races like Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo with this team. That’s also one of the reasons why I wanted to sign for two more years, to build up and increase my chances.”

The news of the contract extension had been expected after team manager Patrick Lefevere told Belgian press that Gilbert had already signed a new deal at the Tour de France.

Lefevere also said that if Gilbert would sign, then he expected Marcel Kittel to renew his contract too, despite strong rumours linking the German sprinter with a move to Katusha-Alpecin to fill the sprinter’s berth vacated by Alexander Kristoff.

After abandoning the Tour de France, both riders will return to action at the BinckBank Tour on Monday.