One of the Giro's stars and best climbers in the world is set to join Remco Evenepoel in 2025

Soudal - Quick-Step is on an active hunt to make their team stronger in the mountains but the reality is that only a few climbers were on the market last year, and this year it is the same situation. Remco Evenepoel may however have the support of an excellent climber who has proven himself this season: Valentin Paret-Peintre.

Ever since the Belgian team began to swindle in the cobbled classics and Evenepoel burst through the scene, the team began to change the way it allocated it's budget for riders. Since the 2022 Vuelta a España, which the Belgian won, the team began to try and focus on it's climber group. Ilan van Wilder developed into a very strong rider and right-hand man for Evenepoel, but this being mainly in the classics.

The team had only a few signings into the 2023 season but the main one was that of Jan Hirt. The Czech climber was assisting Evenepoel last year at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, however in both Evenepoel experienced some sort of mishap that did not allow him to fight for the final victory. Hirt went on to finish 8th at the recent Giro d'Italia, but it is unsure if he will race the Tour de France.

Into 2024 the team made a more serious signing in Mikel Landa - who already proved himself with a second place behind only Tadej Pogacar at the Volta a Catalunya. A meaningful transfer, which may see Evenepoel have key support in a Tour peloton where UAE Team Emirates, BORA - hansgrohe and Team Visma | Lease a Bike will likely swarm the head of the peloton in the mountains.

But more riders are necessary, and according to Het Laatste Nieuws, one may already be secured. As recently reported, the three riders who supported Ben O'Connor in the Giro's mountains - Paret-Peintre, his brother Aurélien, and Alex Baudin - do not have a contract for 2025 yet. The team is having an amazing season, but it will be difficult to keep all three in their ranks.

Quick-Step may take advantage of this and make a serious and immediate bid to sign the 23-year old climber, who finished eighth at the Tour Down Under, fourth at the Tour of the Alps and won stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia - alongside second in the final mountain's day, only behind Tadej Pogacar.

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