Argos Shimano inks contract extensions for Degenkolb, Geschke, Dumoulin and Kittel
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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Argos Shimano inks contract extensions for Degenkolb, Geschke, Dumoulin and Kittel

by VeloNation Press at 1:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Women’s team extends with Wild and Garner and makes three new additions

Marcel KittelMarcel Kittel, the rider who dominated the sprints in this year’s Tour de France, has inked a new two year deal to remain with the Argos Shimano team until the end of 2016.

He beat Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan and Andre Greipel to clock up four stage wins in this year’s race, including the hallowed finish on the Champs Elysees, and on that kind of form is now the fastest sprinter in the world.

He already had a contract running until the end of next year and now today’s announced deal carries him two years further down the line.

“I am very happy that we can keep on working together for the next three years,” the tall German said in response. “The team has given me the best environment to keep developing as a rider and a person. As a sprinter, I feel that I have the best support around me to help me achieve more great results in the future.”

General manager Iwan Spekenbrink had hoped to work out a longer deal and is pleased that goal has been achieved.

“Marcel started his professional career in our team,” he said, “and he has developed into a top sprinter and a great ambassador for Team Argos-Shimano. He works well with everyone on the team, and we aim to keep progressing together in the future.”

Kittel is just one of four names confirmed today as extending their current contracts with the team. John Degenkolb, who won five stages in last year’s Vuelta a España, extends three years after the end of this season. He will be on board until December 2016, as will Simon Geschke.

“I feel at home and very comfortable in this team,” said Degenkolb, who is currently in his second year with the squad. “It’s great to see how everyone really works together and sacrifices themselves for a common goal, building toward the future of cycling.”

Geschke also extends three years and says he is pleased to do so. “I started my career as a professional in 2009 and I really grew up with this team. It’s great to see where the team is now, and it was clear to me that I wanted to continue to be part of it.”

He added that the team already discussed his contract earlier in the season, and that he appreciated the security of having a deal for the next three years.

The fourth rider to receive confirmation that he will be staying on board is Tom Dumoulin. His extension is for two years, 2014 and 2015. He stated that he believes there will be ‘many opportunities’ in the team in the future.

“The team gives me freedom and support in the races where I can get results, which is an ideal situation for a young rider. Of course, I am also looking forward to supporting the team as much possible as we work to achieve our goals together,” he said.

“I feel very comfortable here. It’s a great group of people, and that’s really important to me.”

Commenting on the signings, Spekenbrink said that the team is thinking ahead and investing in the future.

“Ours is a long-term project, and we’re committed to helping our riders grow and develop, both individually and together as a team. We have full confidence that these riders will continue to find success within the context of our way of working,” he said.

The team also confirmed today that three riders would be leaving; the German Patrick Gretsch is heading to Ag2r La Mondiale, while the Canadian Francois Parisien is leaving for personal reasons. Frenchman Yann Huguet has decided to retire, three years after winning the Hel van het Mergelland with the team.

Women’s team extends contracts of Wild and Garner, makes new signings:

The women’s Argos Shimano team is also working on plans for next season and beyond, and has confirmed that two of its main riders will stay on board. Kirsten Wild has agreed a one year deal to remain until the end of 2014, and said that feeling so comfortable with the team is a big factor in her decision.

“I also appreciate the way the team works, with guidance and a plan, and with the will to improve and to create better riders and I see that I can still improve myself,” she said. “For next year I will focus again on the classics and on sprints in the big stage races. We will make a dedicated race plan that will allow us to get results as a team.”

Team coach Ruud Verhagen said that she has a clear value. “Kirsten is currently the best sprinter in the peloton, and we will support her as well as we can and build a strong lead-out team around her for the sprints,” he promised. “She also brings a lot of experience to our team, which our young squad values highly.”

Meanwhile another very rapid rider is also staying put, with former world junior champion Lucy Garner extending her current deal for two more seasons. She will remain on board until the end of 2015 and, given her talent, is a big part of the team’s future plans.

“My main focus was on developing as a rider last year, without expecting great results but just becoming a stronger rider through training and racing,” she said. “I am looking forward to continuing this process.”

“Lucy is a rider who fits perfectly with the vision of our team,” said Verhagen. “We started the development process with Lucy last year, and we will continue working with her to help her reach her full potential.

“Lucy has already shown her talent, as she is a two-time world champion in the junior women’s road race, and she won a stage in the Tour of Chongming Island this season.”

The team is also bringing three new riders on in two year deals. They are former inline speed skater Maaike Polspoel, a promising 24 year old Belgian, as well as the seventeen year old Dutchwomen Floortje Mackaij and Kyara Stijns.

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