This just in via Quick Step press release…
22-Jun-2011: Quick-Step Cycling Team is pleased to announce that Tom Boonen has renewed his contract with the team.
Boonen will race with the team guided by Patrick Lefevere for the next two seasons (2012 and 2013), with an option to extend his contract until 2014.
“We are very satisfied about the agreement we have reached,” Team Manager Patrick Lefevere said. “Our team’s history is strictly connected to Tom’s history. Our team grew thanks to Tom, too, just like his personal achievements and the trophies he got are a result of the effort our team made to help him. Tom has been with us ever since the team was founded in 2003, and it’s a pleasure to be able to go on working together.”
“I always said this team was my first choice,” said a satisfied Boonen. “I feel great here, it’s like a family. There’s a good, professional environment which is exactly what I want. I had a long chat with Patrick about the sports goals, and not just those, that he and Mr Bakala have for the team in the near future, and I was fascinated by their ideas. I am proud Patrick asked me to be a part of it, it’s a big sign of the team’s trust and consideration for me. Reaching this agreement will be a further incentive to do my best in the next few races and to give the team new successes as soon as possible.”
We’ll be really curious to see how things play out with Quick Step and Philippe Gilbert, who’s indicated that Quick Step was one of a handful of teams he was considering signing for in 2012. The overlap doesn’t seem too terrible between the two of them on paper, but Gilbert has indicated he has interest in contending in the more heavily cobbled spring races, including Paris-Roubaix. And what about Chavanel?