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IWG invests in young Belgian talents Tom Paquot & Laurenz Rex

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux welcomes the two young Belgian riders Tom Paquot and Laurenz Rex, who will make their World Tour debut with their compatriot Dries De Pooter in January. The 22 year old riders from the Liège province stay united for at least the next two seasons, after going through their U23 years as teammates and signing their first pro contract together in 2021 with Bingoal - Pauwels Sauces - WB.

Former mountainbiker Laurenz Rex immediately impressed in his first year as an U23 rider by being present in the final of Binche-Chimay-Binche for example. Last autumn he showed himself for the first time on the highest level with a heroic performance in Paris-Roubaix. In hellish conditions he followed the favorites until a third crash on Carrefour de l’Arbre pushed him back to 21st place. The rider from Raeren confirmed this performance this spring on the cobbles of Ghent-Wevelgem (16th), the Brussels Cycling Classic (10th) and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (18th).

Tom Paquot obtained several good results in the second semester of 2021 thanks to a strong sprint at the end of hilly races. After an eighth place in the GP Scherens he took his first two podiums in the pro ranks. In the opening stage of the Tour du Limousin he was only preceded by Laporte and Godon and two weeks later he finished third again in the Tour du Doubs in the slipstream of Biniam Girmay. The young Walloon rider from Braives also has an offensive temperament, which was rewarded from his first pro races with a couple of days in the mountain jersey in the Tour de Wallonie and a 24th place in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.

« The past four years I received the chance to grow as a rider, seizing opportunities to show myself in my favorite races. I feel now ready for a next step in my career and I am very happy that it is within Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux that I will pursue my development in de World Tour. It is incredible what this team, which is based in my region, achieved lately. I have my eyes on success and therefore I want to continue evolving on a tactical level next to keep making physical progress. I have a lot of confidence in the Performance team of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and believe in its vision. A first step enabling me to keep growing is the addition of one week World Tour races to my programme. The sportive project pleased me, but also the fact that I can stay in a friendly environment made the choice for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux logical. »

« I started racing at the age of eleven and I remember that Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, previously named Veranda’s Willems-Accent, acquired the Pro Continental license at that time. Today, the team is sixth in the world ranking. It is the ultimate proof that a step by step progression can get you to the top, a vision I have in common with the team. I am happy with the opportunity to develop myself further in a World Team. It makes me proud to defend the colors of the first Walloon World Team. First, I want to earn my stripes in a support role for my future teammates. If opportunity presents itself, I can use my fast legs as a strong asset to achieve a personal result. It is surreal that I’ll get the chance to learn alongside great champions such as Rui Costa. I remember that as a thirteen year old I was watching him winning the world championships on television. Maybe I can become an example for young riders myself, why not for the talents of the new development team of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. »

« We clearly choose to invest in Belgian and Walloon cycling by giving talented riders the opportunity to step up to the World Tour. Next to Dries De Pooter, Laurenz Rex and Tom Paquot are two of the five Belgian talents who will make their World Tour debut with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 2023. In this way, we can guarantee the Belgian character of our team in the future. Also the launch of our Continental Development Team is part of this strategy. We want to give opportunities to more Belgian youngsters by extending our successful approach to the U23 category. » « I’m pleased that Laurenz Rex and Tom Paquot join our team, because after two years on a Pro Continental level they’ve shown that they are ready for the next step. Laurenz made a big progression during these two seasons and can become one of the core elements of our roster for the classics. With his performances in Paris-Roubaix, Ghent-Wevelgem and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne he showed that he has the capabilities for this type of racing. Tom is committed to his goals, setting nice results in another type of hard races such as the Tour du Doubs. Just like Laurenz he will step up to the World Tour at a young age and I’m looking forward to discover his progression in the next seasons, because I’m convinced that there’s a lot of room for improvement for this intelligent teamplayer. »


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