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Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23

Huub Artz and Tim Rex both finishing top 10

One year ago, Francesco Busatto won Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23, offering prestigious success to Wanty-ReUz-Technord in its first participation. The Italian puncher, who’s now a member of World Team Intermarché-Wanty, concluded a collective performance mastered from start to finish by the young team of Kevin Van Melsen, which is getting ready to defend its title in the U23 version of ‘la Doyenne’ this Saturday 13th of April.

Wanty-ReUz-Technord will tackle the second major classic on the calendar, one week after Paris-Roubaix, with 175 kilometers between Bastogne and Blégny. In total, they will have to conquer nearly 3 000 climbing meters with several legendary climbs such as the Côte de Wanne, Côte de la Vecquée, Côte de Stockeu and even Côte de la Redoute.

Behind winner Busatto, Wanty-ReUz-Technord finished with five other riders in the top 35 last year, including French U23 champion Alexy Faure Prost and Tim Rex, who both participate this Saturday. Also in the selection are Huub Artz, seventh in Paris-Roubaix U23, as well as punchers Simone Gualdi, Victor Hannes and Wouter Toussaint, who all had the opportunity to race with the World Team this season.

“During my first year in the U23 category with Wanty-ReUz-Technord last season I discovered the Belgian Ardennes in several races: Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23, La Flèche Ardennaise, the Tryptique Ardennais and La Get Up Cup, in which I triumphed. We also discovered the roads of the Amstel Gold Race during one of our training camps. I really appreciate this hilly terrain so I'm looking forward to start the Ardennes classics. This Saturday will also be the first opportunity this season to wear my French champion’s jersey with Wanty-ReUz-Technord. I will then join Intermarché-Wanty for my first experiences in the Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne.” “I obviously have good memories of the previous edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23, thanks to the victory of my teammate Francesco Busatto. I attacked on La Redoute and remember the roads of the final quite well. Until the final kilometers in Blegny the terrain is in favour of climbers like me, with opportunities to attack on the climbs. I'm aiming for a good result, which won't be easy, because the level will be very high. Many pro riders will participate in this prestigious U23 race with the Development Team of their team, like me. Even though I spend most of my time with the World Team now, I always stayed in touch with my former teammates and had the opportunity to meet the new team members of Wanty-ReUz-Technord in our common training camp in December." “Afterwards, I want to support my teammates of Intermarché-Wanty as good as possible in the Amstel Gold Race and the Flèche Wallonne. Personally, I want to learn as much as possible, in all areas. I am thinking, for example, of positioning, which is really crucial in these races. I want to be part of a strong cohesive unit. I recently watched videos of the Mur de Huy to analyse this mythical climb. As a member of a Walloon team it is undoubtedly fantastic to climb it four times in front of all fans, who push you to surpass yourself. These classics will be important for my development, because these are the races in which I hope to shine in the future."

Liège-Bastogne-Liège U23 :
Huub Artz
Alexy Faure Prost
Simone Gualdi
Victor Hannes
Tim Rex
Wouter Toussaint

Direction Sportive :
Kévin Van Melsen


General Classification


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