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Gerben Kuypers starts in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and is promoted to the World Team: “A true honour”

The 24-year-old Belgian joins Intermarché-Wanty World Team with immediate effect and will make his debut at the highest level this Sunday 21st of April in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the first Monument of his career. The cyclocross specialist is member of the structure of Jean-François Bourlart since 2023, in cyclocross with Charles Liégeois Roastery CX and on the road with Wanty-ReUz-Technord.

He thus becomes the fifth rider from the team directed by Kévin Van Melsen to be promoted to Intermarché-Wanty World Team since the launch of the Continental development team, after Francesco Busatto, Alexy Faure Prost, Roel van Sintmaartensdijk and Huub Artz.

Last year, he did not only achieve his first two career victories with the Development Team in the Province Cycling Tour and the Tour de Namur, he also represented the World Team on several occasions, distinguishing himself in the professional peloton in a role of a model teammate in the Tour of Sicily in which the team won a stage, the team classification and a final podium, or in Rund um Köln by following the strongest riders and finish 11th alongside Mike Teunissen.

During his first cyclocross campaign with Charles Liégeois Roastery CX, Kuypers continued his linear progression with victories in Oisterwijk and Ardooie, and top five finishes in the World Cups in Troyes and Dendermonde. A dazzling start to the season in the mud was interrupted by health problems, which forced him to end his season during the Christmas period.

Four months later, Gerben Kuypers is getting ready for the first World Tour race of his career in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, alongside Francesco Busatto, Lilian Calmejane, Kevin Colleoni, Lorenzo Rota, Rein Taaramäe and Georg Zimmermann, and directed by Sébastien Demarbaix, Steven De Neef and Laurenzo Lapage.

"My rapid development since my arrival in the structure of Intermarché-Wanty awakened ambition in me to race at the highest level with the World Team. I thought my health problems last winter ruined my dream, however, these physical problems apparently did not affect the confidence the team has in me. This opportunity to step up to the World Tour is the best proof. It is a true honour and I am extremely grateful to the structure. It is a great boost of motivation for my return into competition. » “Interrupting my cyclocross season has been the best decision to give my body time to recover from my health problems. I am satisfied with the quality of my training since the beginning of March, and I feel ready to start my road season with Intermarché-Wanty. The first race kilometers are always exciting, because it is difficult to estimate how good you are, especially at this level. Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be my first Monument, it will undoubtedly be special as it is something I would never have imagined a year ago. I will give everything in support of the team, making efforts which can make the difference for our leaders. » “Then, I’m looking forward to the races in May, starting with the Breton weekend with the GP du Morbihan and the Tro Bro Léon. This season my programme includes a wide variety races to enable me to discover myself on different terrains. I'm thinking of the Tour of Norway for example, with two difficult uphill finishes. I am curious to know what I can achieve at this level, I'm eager to learn and I feel supported in this process. For all these reasons, I am convinced that Intermarché-Wanty is the best environment for the continuation of my career. »

“Gerben Kuypers has made a strong impression since his arrival in our structure. First of all, during his first road season in 2023 when he combined the programmes of the World Team and the Development Team. He proved to be a valuable teammate for our pro riders, and was also capable of finishing off the job by achieving great victories for Wanty-ReUz-Technord in the Province Cycling Tour and the Tour de Namur. He continued his momentum in cyclocross with high level performances from the start of the season. With this step up to our World Team, we want to offer Gerben a more choices to compose a tailor-made race programme on the road. We are convinced that we can continue developing him in the World Tour peloton, which will also be beneficial for his ambition in cyclocross. After his debut in Liège-Bastogne-Liège this Sunday, we plan to build towards peak form in May, with a series of races which suit him very well such as the Tro Bro Léon, Antwerp Port Epic and other Belgian classics, or even the Tour of Norway and the Belgium Tour. Together with Gerben Kuypers, we are very happy to begin this important new phase in his development. »


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