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Four new talents join IWG Devo

On the 1st of January 2023, the structure of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will welcome a new Continental Development Team, composed of sixteen young talents under the direction of Kévin Van Melsen.

Next to cyclocross specialists Arne Baers (20, Belgium) and Nathan Smith, (18, Great Britain), four other names are added to the roster: Alessio Delle Vedove (18, Italy), Victor Hannes (18, Belgium), Tim Rex (18, Belgium) and Jelle Vermoote (21, Belgium).

Alessio Delle Vedove, a fast rider schooled on the track, became junior team pursuit World Champion with the Squadra Azzura last week, with a time of only six hundreds above the world record and one month after their European title. On the road he won seven races on Italian soil this season and on international level he finished in the top ten of stages in the Course de la Paix and the Watersley Challenge.

« I closely follow the performances of the World Team and seeing the victories of the Italian riders in the team makes me dream of following in their footsteps. Choosing for a team abroad was important for me, as I not only want to progress as a rider but also want to grow as a person. I couldn't dream of a better environment to learn, I will benefit from a wide range of opportunities and new goals. I'm looking forward to this new challenge and I hope to achieve good results in my new colors as soon as possible. I want to thank the team for its confidence in my capabilities. »

Victor Hannes was the winner of the junior Liège-Bastogne-Liège in May. He achieved several good results in hilly races this season, thanks to a strong sprint at the end of difficult races. He became fourth in the GC of Gipuzkoa Klasikoa and in the final stage of the Tour du Pays de Vaud and finished second in two stages of the Vuelta Junior a la Ribera del Duero.

« The progress of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux inspires me. The teamspirit and the mentality of the riders of the World Team are an example for us, the future riders of the development team. I immediately had a good feeling about the project when talking to Kévin Van Melsen. Although it is a new project, the ideas about the training camps, the race programme, the staffing or the equipment were already very detailed. I can't wait to step up to the U23 category, it will be a nice challenge because I will also start studying for Civil Engineer. I know that I receive the opportunity to develop myself steadily, but I also cherish the ambition to obtain good results from next season already. »

Tim Rex is a fixed value in the national mountainbike selection. He was Belgian champion in this discipline in the junior category last year. This winter, he will swap bikes and make the switch to road cycling with the Walloon team. Just like his future teammates Alessio Delle Vedove and Victor Hannes, Tim Rex will stay with the team for at least two seasons.

« As a kid I watched cycling races on television with my brother Laurenz, dreaming about becoming professional cyclists ourselves. It was this childhood dream that convinced me to leave my youth on the mountainbike behind and to take on a challenge on the road with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. Several characteristics I acquired on the mountainbike, such as explosiveness or fast recovery after efforts, will definitely help me in many races. I can benefit from the experience of Kévin Van Melsen and the advice of my brother to improve my tactical skills. I want to show myself in the U23 category and progress step by step, hoping to one day represent the World Team in a Grand Tour. »

Jelle Vermoote, who recently finished fourth in the U23 Belgian championships, obtained several podiums in prestigious races in his category such as the Mémorial Van Coningsloo (2nd), Romsée-Stavelot-Romsée (2nd), the final stage of the Tryptique Ardennais (2nd) or the Ronde van Limburg (3rd). He also has solid references in cyclocross, among which a fourth place at the Junior European championships. Just like Arne Baers and Nathan Smith, he will combine his road campaign with a cyclocross winter. The second year U23 rider signed a contract of one season.

« I was immediately seduced by the project of Kévin Van Melsen. Despite the interest of Pro Continental teams, I didn't hesitate to make my choice. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux offered me the possibility to combine road and cyclocross. Bart Wellens showed his confidence in me, enabling me to line up for several cyclocross races with ambition and to prepare for the road season in my new colors. I made a lot of progression this season and I'd like to continue next year. I'm convinced that this will be possible in my new environment, because I can benefit from the expertise of the team in terms of nutrition and training for example and because we will use nearly the same equipment as the World Team. »

« With our new Continental Development Team we want to be competitive on all terrains. Our roster will be composed of mainly young riders who are motivated to show themselves in the U23 category, with profiles of sprinters, punchers, climbers, classics and cyclocross specialists. We want to focus on their development and offer them the opportunity to realize their dream of becoming a professional cyclist. With each of them we will establish an annual programme this winter. This is an important factor for them, because it enables them to work goal-oriented and because it facilitates the combination with their studies or other disciplines. » « We want to offer Alessio Delle Vedove, Victor Hannes and Tim Rex the best possible support in their step up to the U23 category. Alessio showed his fast legs on the track and obtained several victories in Italian junior interclubs on the road. He will be the sprinter of the team. The victory of Victor Hannes in Liège-Bastogne-Liège speaks for itself in terms of puncher qualities. He also recently confirmed in Spain that he has a good sprint in the legs. Our Performance Cell is convinced about the capabilities of Tim Rex as a road rider. We're pleased with his choice to join our team. We will accompany him in his development as a multidisciplinary talent. » « It is important that our youngest elements can learn from more experienced teammates. Thus, Jelle Vermoote will play an important role. He was often selected by the national team, for example in the most recent European Championships. He showed last week at the Belgian U23 championships that he can still sprint to a nice result after a difficult race in the breakaway. I'm very much looking forward to see him in competition in our colors this winter already, because Bart Wellens is convinced that he can shine on the podium of U23 cyclocross races. »


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