Gaviria and Richeze continue with Quick-Step Floors
The Giro d'Italia maglia ciclamino and his trusted lead-out man have extended their contracts beyond 2017.
What a year it's been so far for Fernando Gaviria! The prodigious Colombian has racked up eight wins since kickstarting his season in January, including four spectacular stage victories at the Giro d'Italia, where he enjoyed a spell in the pink jersey before going all the way to Milan, capping off a remarkable race and adorning his trophy case with the famed maglia ciclamino.
One of the peloton's standout riders since making his debut on the big scene, Gaviria has picked up 17 wins so far in the iconic Quick-Step Floors jersey, and will have the opportunity to go for more in the future and enhance his palmares, as he has signed a two-year contract extension with the World Tour team classification leader.
"I am very happy to stay with the team who gave me the chance to turn pro and brought me into European cycling. When I look back on the last two years and see how I've developed and grown as a rider, I am more than confident staying with this team is the right decision. I feel at home and appreciated here, and Patrick Lefevere puts a lot of confidence in me, so it just feels like a natural step to continue my progression with this outstanding team", said Fernando Gaviria, the first Colombian to win the points classification at a Grand Tour.
What does the future hold for the 22-year-old after his most successful season to date? "After what I've achieved in the Giro, I think I am heading towards the next big step of my career. I am especially keen on testing my potential and doing well in the classics, races I have always had a special love for. Quick-Step Floors is one of the greatest ever teams in these races, so I think I can learn a lot from the guys here. I look forward to continuing my presence in the fast finishes and grabbing my chances when and wherever they show in next season."
Maximiliano Richeze has played a quintessential role in Fernando Gaviria's success since joining the team, ahead of the 2016 season; the Argentinean proved that at 34 years of age he still is a world-class lead-out man, one of a kind, whose calm and experience make the difference in the crucial moments of a race, so it was only logical that he was rewarded with a new contract stretching until 2019.
"Quick-Step Floors is one big family and I'm delighted to be part of it for two more years. I'm a pro since 2006 and to continue at such a high level makes me very proud, especially as I'm doing it with the most successful World Tour outfit. I'm also happy that my partnership with Fernando will continue, and we hope to get many other victories together", said Max, a double stage winner this season at Vuelta a San Juan.
"We are very pleased to make this announcement. Fernando's potential is huge, he's one of the most talented riders out there and I dare to say his results so far have been only an appetizer for what we are going to see in the years to come. His potential, determination and mentality recommend him for many great feats, I'm sure of that", said Quick-Step Floors CEO Patrick Lefevere. "Concerning Max Richeze, he brings invaluable experience to our squad and renewing his contract was the natural thing to do. Having them in the team for two more years makes us very happy!"
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele