Preview Critérium du Dauphiné
DS Herman Frison and last year's stage winner Thomas De Gendt talk about the ambitions
Thomas De Gendt has extended his contract for one season and will remain at Lotto Soudal at least till the end of 2020. The 31-year-old Belgian still had a contract till the end of 2019, but the team decided to adjust the deal. The contract extension is a sign of appreciation for the performances of De Gendt during the past few years. Since he joined Lotto Soudal in 2015, the Belgian rider not only took six fine victories but he also provided the team with a lot of publicity with his numerous breakaway attempts. In recent years, he won a stage in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. This year, he already took a stage victory in the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour de Romandie.
Thomas De Gendt: “I still had a contract till the end of next year, but both the team and I were interested in extending the contract. That way, I don’t have to worry about getting a new contract at Lotto Soudal or at another team next year. Having the certainty till the end of 2020 gives me some peace of mind.”
“I feel good within the team. Lotto Soudal gives me the freedom to race the way I want and they also encourage my style of racing. So, it really wasn’t a difficult decision to sign for an additional year. I wasn’t thinking of changing teams, the only thing I was worried about was whether adjusting my contract would be possible.”
“For sure, I want to keep racing the way I did the last three years. That style of racing resulted in two victories in both 2016 and 2017. This year, I already won twice. I have always raced offensively and I gave the team a lot of screen time.”
“I still want to maintain my current level of performance for at least five years, which can only be achieved through hard work. In the next few years, I still want to grant myself a few opportunities to go for some victories. If I could accomplish that goal, I would be very happy.”