Derek Gee will call Israel – Premier Tech home for the foreseeable future, with the Canadian sensation signing a new contract which will see him race in IPT colors until 2028.
The 25-year-old Canadian neo pro dominated the Giro d’Italia, making a name for himself and winning the hearts of cycling fans around the world, which prompted the team to rip up his current contract and sign a new six-year deal, from 2023 to 2028.
“We knew Derek had a big engine when we took a chance on him, and signed him to our U23 Continental program a couple of years ago. But, at this year’s Giro, Derek proved that he has race smarts, and the ability to perform with the best riders in the pro peloton. It was a real coming out party for Derek, along with the young teammates who accompanied him on our Giro squad. Accordingly, we decided to reward Derek by ripping up his neo pro contract and signing him to a new six year deal, that will ensure his future,” says IPT owner Sylvan Adams.
“I’ve known Derek since he was a boy, winning local races in Canada, as he accompanied his father (against whom I competed in Master’s races) to weekend bike races. IPT is Derek’s natural home, as it is for the other aspiring Canadians, and Israelis, that we have in our development pipeline. With Derek, we are JUST. GETTING. STARTED. We expect big things from this talented rider in the near future.”
Just over a week after riding into Rome for the final stage of the Giro d’Italia, where Gee battled to four second places, two fourth places, won the most combative rider classification, and finished second in the sprint and mountains classifications, the magnitude of what he achieved in his maiden Grand Tour is starting to sink in.
“Having an all WorldTour program to start the year was definitely an amazing experience, to line up at such prestigious races, but I think it really showed the confidence the team had in me and absolutely helped me race with more confidence in myself. The Giro was about as far from what I expected as it gets going in, but it’s been sinking in the last week, the rides that I had there. I’m really happy to be able to show why the team had confidence in me with that calendar and put that on paper with those results,” explains Gee.
As for the decision to already extend his contract, Gee didn’t hesitate.
“It was an incredibly easy decision for me to sign this new contract; I know another five years is a long time, especially in the cycling world, but this team feels like home. The relationship I have with the riders, staff and management, and the direction I can see the team going from a performance standpoint, is something I’m incredibly keen to be a part of for the long term. It also gives me the stability to take a step back and try new directions as a rider that may not have even been something I was considering before the Giro.”
“I honestly can’t say exactly which direction I want to go as a rider and what I want to achieve in that direction, but for now the biggest thing on my mind after the Giro is just getting a win. So many second places made me extremely hungry to get that first win and hopefully one day get a stage win in a Grand Tour. I’d like to continue to develop without necessarily picking something to specialize in, and just see which direction racing takes me in as a rider. I think that’s the exciting part about this contract, there’s time to do that, and I can’t wait for the next 5 years with IPT!”
The long term commitment from IPT and Derek is an important step in the team’s vision for the coming years explains IPT General Manager Kjell Carlström.
“Derek Gee is a phenomenal rider and one we see as a future leader of this team. His physical and mental strength make him one of the most exciting bike riders in the pro peloton and when you consider this is just his first year professional, we can’t wait to see what he can do in the future. By signing him through to 2028, we are laying the foundation for Derek to develop into the best rider he can be. Beyond Derek’s racing talent, he is truly one of the nicest and most humble riders we have had the pleasure of working with and I think the whole cycling world saw this shine through in the way he presented himself on and off the bike at the Giro. The future is looking bright with Derek in IPT colors,” adds Carlström.