Etixx-Quick Step and Tom Boonen have agreed a one-year extension to the Belgian’s contract, which will see the former World Champion riding for the team in 2016.
Boonen, who turns 35 in October, is the only rider who has ridden for the Quick Step team since its inception in 2003 and is set to continue for his 15th year as a professional.
Injury ruled him out of his beloved cobbled Classics this spring, but he returned to win stages at the Belgium Tour and Eneco Tour, as well as podium positions at the GP de Fourmies and Brussels Cycling Classic last weekend.
“We have had great moments together,” Etixx-Quick Step CEO, Patrick Lefevere, said. “Our paths of success are connected, including his UCI World Road Championship victory in 2005, record breaking success at Tour of Qatar, six Tour de France stage wins, and his legendary Spring Classics palmares, including tying the Paris-Roubaix win record with four (2005, 2008, 2009, 2012).
“We talked with him lately about how he sees his future. Tom explained to us his expectations and goals for next season.
“We respect his objectives, and considering his palmares and his contributions to the sport, we think it was the right thing to do, to proceed together in pursuit of Tom’s last goals he’d like to achieve as a rider in cycling.”
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Boonen will likely lead Belgium at the forthcoming UCI World Championships in Richmond, Virginia, hoping to claim his second rainbow jersey – ten years after his first.
“It wasn’t difficult to reach an agreement with Patrick,” Boonen said. “I spent almost my entire professional career here. It’s nice to have this extra opportunity to go ahead for another year.
“I think I still have some business to do as a rider in cycling, and I am proud to do it again with my team, which is more than a team to me.
“This group is special, as we were able to grow and develop year-by-year, keeping a familiar environment and spirit. In a sport known for frequent changes, Patrick was able to keep together a great group of people.”