Former Belgian Champion Dries de Bondt has prolonged his stay with his current team Alpecin-Fenix until the end of 2023. De Bondt, who rode an excellent Giro d'Italia, winning the overall combativity prize and the intermediate sprint classification, is very pleased with his contract extension.
Dries De Bondt:
“I am very happy with my contract extension, because I’m super happy here. It also shows appreciation towards each other from both sides. I’m happy with the proposal I received. Philip and Christoph Roodhooft have both indicated that they are pleased that I'll be staying with them for two more years. So, everybody happy!"
"I joined the team when they became a Pro Team. I've seen the team develop and I've developed here into the rider I am today. It makes it even nicer to continue to be part of that story. I have taken steps in my career that I could only dream of, such as riding a Grand Tour – and also the way we performed there, including the final podium in Milan. I’ll also never forget the Belgian title that I won with the team and for them. It ties me to this team. After all, my teammates helped me win the title. Something I'm really grateful for. The victories you take together forge bonds. I have never supported my teammates so much as I did during the last Tour de France. I was on the edge of my seat during the closing stage and surprised myself at how loudly I was shouting for Jasper."
"It just shows how happy I am with my teammates' performance and how good I feel in this group. It's nice to do things for each other and to grant each other successes. It's something I really appreciate about this group. The team invests a lot in this project. You are really looked after, and you have material at your disposal that you cannot have in most other teams. We are in the top segment worldwide in that regard. I greatly appreciate the investments that the team makes regarding training camps, race preparations, performance, nutrition, etc. These are investments the team makes and that you as a rider can hardly afford to pay for yourself. I also think it contributes enormously to the success of this story and it also really appeals to me about this team. They understand that winning formula here. I'm glad I can continue to be a part of that."
"I also really enjoy the combination of my 'free' role in certain races and being a valueable domestique for race leaders like Jasper (Philipsen), Mathieu (Van der Poel), and Tim (Merlier) among others. For example, I had a lot of fun in Jasper's win in the Scheldeprijs, how Jonas Rickaert and I prepared that sprint together and how he finished it off. It gave me as many goosebumps as if I won myself. An amazing feeling!"
"I don’t think I’ll find that combination of roles elsewhere. This, together with how I feel in our group and the appreciation the team shows towards me, made me sign my contract extension with both hands! I’m very happy that I can continue to contribute to the success of the team for the next two years. I am also looking forward to seeing the team develop and grow in the coming years. There is a good chance that we’ll win the Europe Tour again and that we’ll be able to ride another great program next year. I’m ready to give it my all for Alpecin-Fenix in 2022 and 2023.”