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"I see myself as a rider for the hilly races, for the one-day races like the Liege-Bastogne-Liege and as a stage hunter. My goal is to be useful to the squad next year, precisely in those kinds of races."

Photo: Sirotti




28.09.2013 @ 21:42 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

Omega Pharma-Quick Step and rider Jan Bakelants have reached an agreement on a contract for the 2014 season the team announced earlier today.


The 27-year-old Belgian rider has several highlights of his career, including the overall victory at 2008 Tour de l'Avenir and the 2nd Stage of the 2013 Tour de France. Bakelants wore the yellow jersey as a result of his Tour stage win this year, maintaining the race lead for the subsequent two stages. Later he continued his impressive season with a victory in the Grand Prix de Wallonie and 4th place overall at the Eneco Tour.


Jan is a perfect addition to our team," Team Manager Patrick Lefevere said. "For a few years now he has been among the best riders on the circuit and this season he reaffirmed his skills with excellent results, demonstrating performance continuity. We are very pleased with the agreement we reached. Bakelants is a well-rounded rider, one who can shine in the Wallonie Classics and he will also figure as a major player as he hunts for stages in the major tours. He is expected to take top placements in the shorter stage races, too," Lefevere continued as he explained the team’s rationale for signing Bakelants on the OPQS website.


As for his part, Bakelants said he was pleased to put his recent uncertainties regarding his future behind him. Bakelants formerly had an agreement with the new setup that would have seen Formula One driver Fernando Alonso take over the Euskaltel Euskadi team.  That prospect collapsed earlier this week, though, leaving Bakelants marooned.


"I am happy and proud to be a part of this team," said Bakelants. "These past few weeks I've been in touch with the team. Here at the World Championships in Florence I had a final meeting with Lefevere and we came to an agreement. OPQS is a great squad with a great attitude and I'm very pleased to be a part of this project. It's a great step for my career. I see myself as a rider for the hilly races, for the one-day races like the Liege-Bastogne-Liege and as a stage hunter. My goal is to be useful to the squad next year, precisely in those kinds of races," the OPQS website quoted the Belgian as saying.



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