Eighty percent pay cut for De Gendt compared to previous contract
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Saturday, October 05, 2013

Eighty percent pay cut for De Gendt compared to previous contract

by VeloNation Press at 6:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Belgian philosophical about drop in pay with Omega Pharma Quick Step, says it was crucial to have a team

Thomas De GendtFollowing yesterday’s announcement that Thomas De Gendt had finally secured a deal for 2014, racing with the Omega Pharma Quick Step team, it has emerged that the Belgian rider has accepted an eighty percent pay cut to secure the place.

However De Gendt, who won the Stelvio stage and finished third overall in the 2012 Giro d’Italia, said that he was pleased simply to have a contract.

“I didn’t need a second to think to say yes,” he told Het Nieuwsblad. “When my manager rang Wednesday with the offer, I immediately said yes. I am grateful for this opportunity.”

While De Gendt had a very quiet season this year compared to what he had done before, with his past results also including stage wins in Paris-Nice, the Tour de Suisse, the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour de Wallonie, he knows that things are currently tough.

Several teams are closing down, including the Vacansoleil DCM squad he has raced with in recent seasons, and there are over 100 riders who have been left short.

It means that there is huge competition for places on teams. Had he not secured a deal, he would have had to look for something at the Pro Continental level or perhaps even sit out the season; neither would be ideal.

As a result De Gendt is philosophical about the salary loss.

“The truth is that everyone knows the situation in cycling and with the performances of this season, I could make few demands. The offer was to take it or leave it; I still ended up fine.”

It is unclear if he has been offered any performance bonuses; if so, that would encourage him to return to his previous level. Even without that, the scare he had in recent weeks about possibly not having a contract will spur him on to work hard and to get back to his top level.

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