The 22-year-old will continue with the Wolfpack until at least the end of 2023.

During a turbulent 2021, our young Italian rider Andrea Bagioli went through a range of emotions, from the pain of a persistent knee injury that kept him off his bike, to the rollercoaster of a series of strong performances at the Vuelta España, but just missing out on an elusive stage win.

This week however has been a double cause of celebration for Andrea. On Tuesday evening he was proud to be awarded the Giglio d’Oro, a prestigious award that recognises the best young Italian talent. Coupled with this is the news that he will stay with Deceuninck – Quick-Step for two more years, in an agreement that will run until the end of 2023.

In an exclusive blog, Andrea reflected on his second year in the pro ranks, told us of his glee at agreeing to stay with the squad and his hopes for the future.

“When Patrick said that he wanted to keep me in the team, I agreed immediately! I am super happy to be staying for two more years because I think this is the perfect team to help me improve and develop as a rider. I have really enjoyed the two years I have spent here so far. The first year, with the initial impact of Covid, was very strange, and this year with my knee injury was hard, so I am really ready to give it my all for the next two years.

I took my first win with the team at Tour de l’Ain, which was one of the first races after the lockdown. It was a big breakthrough for me and a super moment when I beat a big rider like Primoz Roglic in the sprint! Then I won again, at Coppi e Bartali, which made for a good initial season, and I would like to push on now to win some important races. I made my Grand Tour debut in the Vuelta later in the year, but was not able to finish it, which I managed to do this year.

The knee injury kept me off my bike for five months, which was a difficult time, and it was hard to come back to racing after so long. I had to stay one month completely confined to my bed with my leg straight – it was really hard to watch races like Romandie on television, but my family and the team kept my spirits up.

When we decided that I would go to the Vuelta, I was not sure how I would be, after so long off the bike, but my ride in the Tour de l’Ain showed that my condition was good. I came so close to a stage win twice at the Vuelta, which I look back on with both pride and frustration. It was special to be up there, especially after the work that I put in after the injury, but when you are so close it is a pity. I will learn a lot from it though and I hope to put it right soon.

I am very proud to receive the Giglio d’Oro.

The name translates to a golden flower, and it is awarded to the best young rider of the year. It is an important award for cycling in Italy and to be recognised is very special to me. They were not able to hold the ceremony last year, because of Covid, so everybody has been looking forward to this year’s event and it will be special.

And then I have two years with Deceuninck – Quick-Step to look forward to. For sure I want to win some big races in that time and hope to take some Grand Tour stages. At some point I would of course like to ride the Giro, but I also want to help the team to win the important races, like the Monuments and the Classics.”

Deceuninck – Quick-Step CEO Patrick Lefevere was equally delighted to have reached an agreement with Bagioli: “Andrea has shown in the last two years that he is one of the most talented young riders around and now that we have an agreement with him, we are looking forward to seeing him develop. He has displayed a lot of heart and determination to come through a big injury so early in his career, and yet come back in the Vuelta and the Italian races so strong. Hopefully he will now have a clean bill of health and we can see him accomplish a lot.”


Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

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