'All options are open,' says Jasper Philipsen as contract talks and transfer rumours rumble on

Alpecin-Deceuninck's premier sprinter recently hired agent Alex Carera, as he looks for a four-year deal but fails to rule out leaving Belgian team

Clock19:00, Monday 11th March 2024
Jasper Philipsen picked up his first win of 2024 at last week's Tirreno-Adriatico

© Getty Images

Jasper Philipsen picked up his first win of 2024 at last week's Tirreno-Adriatico

Jasper Philipsen is out of contract with Alpecin-Deceuninck at the end of the season and is keeping his options open, as the Belgian sprinter hires his first agent and courts the interest of UAE Team Emirates, Bora-Hansgrohe and Tudor Pro Cycling.

Speaking with Het Laatste Nieuws, the 26-year-old explained his reasons for developing a partnership with Alex Carera, who will be the first dedicated agent of Philipsen's career.

“We have known each other for a long time and we get along well," Philipsen said of Carera.

The Italian agent also represents the likes of Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) and former women's world champion Elisa Balsamo (Lidl-Trek). It will be under his eye that the details of Philipsen's next contract will be decided, be that as a rider for Alpecin-Deceuninck or elsewhere.

Read more: Transfer Mechanics: Market already open for business as teams chase deals for 2025

As the peloton's premier sprinter - his dominant performances at last year's Tour de France assured him that monicker - Philipsen is in a powerful position when it comes to his latest round of contract negotiations.

Not only does the Belgian all but guarantee stage success at every Grand Tour he is sent to, but Philipsen also tends to win in sundry and can even turn his hand to one-day Classics and semi-Classics. The 26-year-old memorably finished second to teammate Mathieu van der Poel at last year's Paris-Roubaix and picked up victories in Classic Brugge-De Panne and Scheldeprijs.

At 26 years of age, his next contract will likely be the most valuable of his career and Philipsen is understandably keen to maximise his packet, which should soon be in excess of $2 million given the current market conditions. The Belgian is under no illusions of the importance of his next move.

“I told Alex that the next four, five years will be my top years,” said Philipsen. “I hope to find a team where I can get the best out of myself. That can also be in my current team.

"All options are open. I'll look at the full picture and then decide.”

It is understood that Philipsen is looking for a contract running between 2025-2028, which would take him through the UCI World Championships in Abu Dhabi in 2028 and a course that looks set to crown a sprinter as world champion.

Where next for Philipsen?

It would make sense for Philipsen to remain a member of Alpecin-Deceuninck's squad. The sprinter is undoubtedly the second-in-command behind the irrepressible Van der Poel, and the Dutchman's presence alongside Philipsen can certainly benefit the Belgian in many ways.

Not only has Van der Poel proved himself a lead-out man extraordinaire on a number of occasions, but having the world champion alongside Philipsen can allow him to play the tactics game in a number of Classics, which could one day lead to a Monument victory.

Their next target will be Milan-San Remo on Saturday.

Read more: Filippo Pozzato backs Jonathan Milan and Andrea Bagioli as Italy's next Monument winners, with Milan-San Remo a key target

However, there are naturally other options for the six-time Tour de France stage winner and reigning green jersey winner. Wielerflits and Het Laatste Nieuws both report that Carera is optimistic about interest from UAE Team Emirates and Bora-Hansgrohe, whilst Tudor Pro Cycling have already tabled a contract offer.

Bora-Hansgrohe have new owners in drinks company megalith Red Bull, Tudor Pro Cycling are a team on the rise under the leadership of modern-day great Fabian Cancellara and UAE Team Emirates is where Philipsen made the jump up to WorldTour in 2019.

All three could be handy options should the Belgian decide to leave his current team of four years. When it comes to talk of friendships with Van der Poel, Pogačar and alike, Philipsen is keen to note that this next decision will be made to benefit himself first and foremost.

"It's nice to have good friends, but before I put my signature under a new contract, I will have thought of myself in the first place," he said, before adding an insight into which team that shall be.

"The team in which my potential comes into its own most and in which I can pursue my dreams."

For more of the latest racing updates, visit the race news page.

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