The Quick Step team is fast beefing up for 2012 and beyond. The team announced Tuesday that it has reached deals with three new athletes, the Slovak twins Martin and Peter Velits and Belgian Stijn Vandenbergh. The three have contracts with the team through the 2013 season, according to a team release.
The Velits brothers, 26, are currently with HTC-Highroad. Vandenbergh, 27, is currently with Katusha.
“Martin, Peter and Stijn will be three important pieces on our team’s chess board,” team director Patrick Lefevere said.
“Stijn is a worthy athlete, a specialist in the classics and a team player … Martin and Peter come from a country full of potential like Slovakia, which is growing on the cycling scene. Martin is an athlete who’s already proven his worth in the young categories and in his first seasons as a pro. We’re counting on him a lot, since we consider him an athlete who can improve even further. Peter, on the other hand, stood out to us for the good end-of-season he had last year, which saw him winning a stage and third place in the GC in the Vuelta a España and for the good performance at the recent Tour de France.”
Quick Step announced Monday that it was merging with Omega Pharma for next year. The team also announced earlier Tuesday that French champion Sylvain Chavanel has extended his contract with the team.