By Jonny Long
Talented young British rider Ethan Vernon is set to join Deceuninck - Quick-Step, team boss Patrick Lefevere has announced.
Revealing the news in his weekly Het Nieuwsblad column, Lefevere says the new season starts as early as next week, with all of the team's riders for 2022 present in Flanders for photo shoots and meetings.
"We will meet with everyone for the first time in Tielt. For a party on Monday, but especially for many practical matters: a first photo shoot in the new jersey, a bike fitting and consultation about the programs," Lefevere said of how the new season starts almost as soon as the current one ends.
"All riders for 2022 will be there on Monday, including the newcomers. Martin Svrcek who will race with us from July and also Ethan Vernon, a young British rider who was seventh in the World U23 Time Trial Championship.”
Lefevere says he currently has 29 riders signed up for next year, with one space still vacant, potentially for Mark Cavendish. His contract is yet to be finalised but Lefevere hopes that is also something that can be achieved next week.
"That means that there is still one place open," Lefevere said before moving on to the discussion of Cavendish's contract renewal. “Contractually, everything is not yet finalized, but I hope to finalise that next week. The discussion is still the same for the time being: what role can Mark play for our team after his career and how can we reward him for that?”
Deceuninck - Quick-Step have had another stand-out year, winning 65 races, amongst them Monuments, multiple Grand Tours stages, and two Grand Tour green jerseys with Cavendish and Fabio Jakobsen. Meanwhile, Julian Alaphilippe's successful world title defence in Flanders means the rainbow jersey will remain in Deceuninck - Quick-Step colours for another season.
Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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