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"It doesn't bother me to be paid a bit less. I find it much more important to have job security for an additional year which is not guaranteed in these times. Another bad season could possibly have meant the end of my career,"...

Photo: Sirotti




03.12.2013 @ 16:54 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Jelle Vanendert had a terrible 2013 season and with just one year left of his contract is under pressure to perform better in 2014. To get more job security, the Belgian may now accept a lower salary in a new contract that will see him ride in Lotto Belisol colours until the end of the 2015 season.


In 2011 the entire cycling world saw the extent of Jelle Vanendert's talent when the Belgian won the big mountain stage to Plateau de Beille in the Tour de France and went on to wear the polka-dot jersey for several days. Alongside Philippe Gilbert, he formed a dangerous duo and when Gilbert joined BMC, Vanendert stepped into a leadership role at Lotto Belisol.


He confirmed his talents in 2012 when he finished in the top 10 in all the Ardennes classics and even got close to the win in the Amstel Gold Race where he was beaten into 2nd by Enrico Gasparotto in a close sprint. All was set for more glory in 2013 but the year ended up a complete disaster for the Belgian Ardennes specialists.


Due to illness, he was forced to leave his most important preparation race for the classics, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, prematurely and failed to reach his best form for the biggest one-day races. He hoped to bounce back for the Tour de France but missed the event when he was diagnosed with a parasite in his intestines. He planned to make amends in the final part of the season but failed to show anything in the Vuelta a Espana before abandoning the race.


His team managers have made it clear that he needs to perform better in 2014 and the Belgian may now have seen the writing on the wall. With his contract expiring at the end of 2014, he knows that another bad year could leave him without a team for the 2015 season.


Those thoughts have prompted him to open negotiation with Lotto Belisol. According to Gazet van Antwerpten, he is likely to sign a new contract that will offer him a reduced salary but guarantee him a ride with Lotto Belisol until the end of the 2015 season.


"It doesn't bother me to be paid a bit less," he told the Belgian newspaper. "I find it much more important to have job security for an additional year which is not guaranteed in these times. Another bad season could possibly have meant the end of my career.


"In offering me this new contract, the team shows they still believe in me," he added. "They know why I didn't have a good season. Lotto-Belisol offer me the chance to do what I do. I like being with this team."


"2013 wasn't a good year due to medical reasons," Lotto-Belisol team manager Marc Sergeant said. "The public expected a lot of Jelle. He was also paid accordingly but he is not a winning type of rider. Riders like Greipel can deal with the pressure but Jelle struggled. We still have full confidence in him and know what he is capable of. He was not happy with the situation [this season] and seeks revenge."


Vanendert didn't have a single top 10 result in the 2013 season.



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