Alpecin-Deceuninck hoping to keep Jasper Philipsen in Classics dream team with Mathieu van der Poel in 2025

Jasper Philipsen and Mathieu van der Poel
Jasper Philipsen and Mathieu van der Poel (Image credit: Getty Images)

Jasper Philipsen has attracted interest from Bora-Hansgrohe, UAE Team Emirates and Tudor for 2025 but Alpecin-Deceuninck hope to keep the Milan-San Remo winner alongside Mathieu van der Poel and continue their Classics and sprint dream team.

Philipsen recently hired Italian agent Alex Carera and talked openly about his future during Tirreno-Adriatico, making it clear he wants a four-year contract and a salary that reflects his success and potential. He is expected to make an initial decision on his future after targeting Paris-Roubaix, but under UCI rules, formal contracts can only be signed after August 1.

Winning Milan-San Remo only raised Philipsen's value and the interest in signing him. Philipsen won four sprint stages and the green jersey at the 2023 Tour de France but has also proven he is developing into a Classic contender, following the career path of Tom Boonen, who also hails from northern Flanders.  He was second behind Van der Poel at the 2023 Paris-Roubaix and the Dutchman sacrificed his own chances at Milan-San Remo to set up Philipsen for the sprint.

Alpecin-Deceuninck is managed by Philip and Christoph Roodhooft. Last week they smiled and shook hands with Van der Poel as he agreed to a new contract that lasts until the end of 2028, with Canyon agreeing a ten-year rider and then an ambassador deal with the multidisciplinary world champion. 

Keeping van der Poel and Philipsen could cost the Roodhooft brothers and their sponsors around €10 million per season but they seem quietly confident they can do it. The biggest problem could be managing their combined ambitions for the biggest Classics but that has not proven to be a problem so far. 

An alternative strategy could be to try to sign or develop a Grand Tour rider and so widen their ambitions even further. 

“The situation is that we are currently in discussions,” Philip Roodhooft told Nieuwsblad on the contract talks with Philipsen and Carera.

“Without getting ahead of ourselves, I have a good feeling about it. I certainly don't have the impression that we are having a deaf conversation.” 

Alpecin-Deceuninck enjoyed a successful 2023 and have developed a successful WorldTour structure, with Van der Poel winning Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, the World Championships in Glasgow and taking a haul of other races and results in road racing, cyclocross and mountain biking. 

Philipsen dominated the Tour de France sprints, often with the help of Van der Poel and their combined success continued this year with Philipsen winning Milan-San Remo and then Classic Brugge-De Panne before Van der Poel won the E3 Saxo Classic. Alpecin-Deceuninck seem able to help both riders perform at their very best.

Roodhooft brothers started talking to Van der Poel about a contract extension last summer and consider his deal a further victory. The deal also indirectly secures the future of the Team Ciclismo Mundial team structure that also includes the women’s Fenix-Deceuninck WorldTour team and the cyclocross teams.

"For me, securing Mathieu’s contract was even bigger than winning a monument," Roodhooft said.

“It is symbolic: we have started a cycle together and it seems that we will also end it together. It is also good for cycling that the absolute leaders remain spread over different teams.”

Other teams were perhaps able to offer Van der Poel more money but Roodhooft was able to offer him a long deal and help tie-up an even longer deal with Canyon, which runs until 2028 but could extend until the end of Van der Poel’s career. 

“Within a contract of two or three years, there may have been other parties that could offer Mathieu more. But because of that long term we can compensate for that and perhaps even do better,” Roodhooft explained.

“We have an agreement that we will evaluate year after year after 2028. Then the question is: what does he still enjoy doing? Then it could be road cycling, but perhaps also Cape Epic or gravel races.”

The Roodhooft brothers are perhaps working on a similar offer for Philipsen. 

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