Cape Town - Quick-Step has reached an agreement with Tom Boonen to extend his contract for another season.
The Belgian rider, who is about to complete his 13th season with the team, collecting more than 100 victories over the years, will ride with the Etixx - Quick-Step jersey on his back until the end of the 2016 season.
"Tom Boonen is the only rider that stayed with us since the team's inception in 2003," CEO Patrick Lefevere said.
"We had great moments together. Our paths of success are connected, including his UCI World Road Championship victory in 2005, record breaking success at Tour of Qatar, six Tour de France stage wins, and his legendary Spring Classics palmares, including tying the Paris-Roubaix win record with four (2005, 2008, 2009, 2012).
"We talked with him lately about how he sees his future. Tom explained to us his expectations and goals for next season. We respect his objectives, and considering his palmares and his contributions to the sport, we think it was the right thing to do, to proceed together in pursuit of Tom's last goals he'd like to achieve as a rider in cycling. He is an example of professionalism. This is an important factor for next year, as the team will change a lot with plenty of new, young guys on the team. His presence is also valuable to help us in developing a new generation of riders."
"I am very happy to stay with the team for another year," Boonen said.
"It wasn't difficult to reach an agreement with Patrick. I spent almost my entire professional career here. It's nice to have this extra opportunity to go ahead for another year. I think I still have some business to do as a rider in cycling, and I am proud to do it again with my team, which is more than a team to me. This group is special, as we were able to grow and develop year-by-year, keeping a familiar environment and spirit. In a sport known for frequent changes, Patrick was able to keep together a great group of people. This is important when you spend a lot of time on the road for your job. The people around you are part of your success. The riders and staff of Etixx - Quick-Step are special. It's one of the best organisations in the world.
"I would like to thank Mr. Zdenek Bakala, the Team Board, and Patrick for the faith they have in me. As everyone knows I have a few objectives still in front of me. I feel good and strong. The next few weeks will be important for me. I am super motivated for the end of the season. Of course, after this, I will focus on the big objectives of next year. I still have a lot of things I'd like to accomplish before my career ends. It's not only a question of personal goals, but at my age, it's also nice to be able to teach something to the young guys. I want to pass on my experience, to help them understand even the small details of the sport, which is one of the best sports in the world. I feel that I still have plenty left to contribute, both to the team in general, as well as my personal performance. I want to make the most of every moment in 2016 and then we will see.”