Sep Vanmarcke and Sebastian Langeveld have extended their contracts with EF Education First – Drapac p/b Cannondale. The Belgian and Dutchman have both been a part of the argyle family for a number of years: Vanmarcke rode for the team for the 2011-2012 seasons before returning again in the 2017 season while Langeveld has been part of the squad since 2014.
Vanmarcke is a perennial Classics contender with regular podium appearances at the cobbled races. He’s won Omloop het Nieuswblad (2012) and twice finished third (2017, 2018) at the spring season opener. He raced to second at Paris-Roubaix (2013) and Gent Wevelgem (2010, 2016) and third at Tour of Flanders (2014, 2016). Most recently, the 29-year-old finished in third place at Dwars door Vlaanderen.
A classics-specialist, Langeveld won Omloop het Nieuwsblad in 2011 and rounded out the Paris-Roubaix podium in 2017. While his biggest passion and strength lies in the spring season, the 33-year-old excels across disciplines. He lends experience and leadership in stage races and has started the Tour de France in four of his five seasons with the team. His ability to easily maneuver around the peloton is a personal strength turned collective asset that allows #PinkArgyle race leaders to safely conserve on his wheel.
“I’m thrilled to be able to bring Sep and Sebas back in the coming seasons — these guys are classics cornerstones, good people, and beneficial to the whole organization,” said Jonathan Vaughters, the team’s CEO and co-founder. “But, more importantly, these re-signings mark the first time since 2012 that we’ve had the fiscal stability to think about the future beyond one or two seasons. The long-term, strategic objective we’ve been given is to design a team to perform both now and later. And that’s very exciting. We’re on the market looking to create the best roster we possibly can. This is the first step in us building a team that’s built to perform across the calendar and over the years. We will be signing some more exciting riders coming up. Stay tuned.”
“I feel good in this team. I was really happy to come back in 2017. When the team was in trouble at the end of last season, other teams showed they were interested in hiring me, but I waited because I really was hoping our team would get a new sponsor and could continue. I was so happy when it happened. I gave the team my trust. Now the team gave me their trust by giving me a new contract until 2020. That gives me a lot of motivation.
“I believe I’m still making steps forward. Since I turned professional, JV believed in me, and that is really important. The whole team believes in me, and they give me a lot of support. The team has a clear focus on the classics, trying to find the best materials and building a good group of riders.
“Next to my own goals, I know what my job is. Helping out in the lead-out for Sacha Modolo and helping out the GC riders in the important or stressful moments. I like it. The team knows I always do my job 100 percent.
“I’m proud to wear EF Education First as a sponsor on my shirt. I never had a better connection with a sponsor than with EF. I met a lot of them in Boston, others came to camp in Girona, and I already visited the people working at EF in Antwerp. It’s a warm and motivated group of people, just like how I feel it at the team.”
“I’ve been here since 2014, and I think it’s a relationship for the long, long term. I’m really happy here. When JV came up with the idea to extend my contract for another two years, I was like, “Yes, absolutely.” And we figured it out. This whole team is like a family for me. I’m grateful. I’m happy. I’m so glad to be part of the process for the next couple of years.”