Close this search box.

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert reinforces its Performance Cell

After achieving 24 victories during its second year in the World Tour, Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux is preparing  for season 2023 with an extended and strengthened Performance Team. 

The structure of Jean-François Bourlart welcomes Laurenzo Lapage in its team of sports directors, in addition to Dimitri Claeys and Kévin Van Melsen, who recently ended their cycling careers in the colors of the Walloon World Team.

Lapage, a former Belgian champion on the track, is one of the most experimented people in the peloton with almost twenty seasons in the sports director’s seat of several of the most important teams in the world. 

Former pro cyclist Christophe Prémont will join the team of trainers, alongside Frederik Veuchelen and Ioannis Tamouridis. The holder of a Master in Physical Education raced on a professional level for five years before becoming a trainer. He worked in a Pro Continental team and was made responsible for the development of young talents towards the Olympic Games by the university of Leuven.

« For 2023 we made a conscious choice to focus more on young talents, mostly Belgian. This decision requires an adjustment in our organisation, because the development of our young riders involves a more specific coaching. With the extension of our team of sports directors we want to respond to this evolving vision. With Dimitri Claeys, Kévin Van Melsen and Pieter Vanspeybrouck we're building a new generation of sports directors who mainly focus on the coaching of our talents. At the same time, Laurenzo Lapage will reinforce the organizational strength of our group of experimented sports directors. Our riders benefit from this wide range of personalities and qualities, because in each race they can rely on the support of a balanced team of coaching staff. »

« Next season will also be marked by the retirement of Hilaire Van der Schueren, who’s still very closely involved with the team after all those years in the peloton. Hilaire shared his wish to continue one more year, to combine activities as a sports director and other tasks within the organization. Hilaire will continue guiding our World Team in a mainly Flemish programme in addition to his involvement in the creation of our Development team. With a rustproof fanaticism he’ll continue passing on his experience to his young colleagues. Hilaire has experience on all different levels in a cycling team. »

« Our new Continental Development team will work with an ambitious trainer, Christophe Prémont, who recently worked in a Pro Continental structure. Just like our trainers Frederik Veuchelen and Ioannis Tamouridis, Christophe is a former pro cyclist with a precious practical experience in addition to the theoretical knowledge he acquired during his university studies. Our three trainers share the same vision and combine different qualities and expertise. With these new additions, our Performance Cell can also make another step forward and this pleases me. »

« My story with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux started in 2014. Since then, the team never ceased to progress. I feel like a father figure in the organization, I'm motivated to fully commit one last time before saying goodby to my role as a sports director after a symbolic number of 50 years. For my last season with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, I'm particularly looking forward to follow the development of Arne Marit and Rune Herregodts, two young riders from my region. My most important mission is to continue passing on my experience to our new sports directors. This bore fruit this season with Pieter Vanspeybrouck and I know that it won't be any different with Dimitri Claeys and Kévin Van Melsen. »

« Sports has been a part of me since my childhood. After a sabbatical year I'm twice as motivated for this new challenge as a sports director, which is in a Belgian team for the first time. Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux radiates a positive and friendly atmosphere. This is an important factor, both for myself on a personal level and for the performances of the team. The first contacts with the management felt really good and I'm also looking forward to start working with several friends. I want to contribute to the growth of this team and therefore I want to combine my qualities with those of my new colleagues. A good communication is paramount if you want to create a solid whole with all qualitative elements in a system. Personally I've always appreciated the logistical aspect. Arriving at a race perfectly organized is an important step towards succes for our riders. »

« Working for a Walloon World Team is a fantastic opportunity for me to contribute to Belgian cycling and in Wallonia in particular. I care about this mission and so does the structure of Jean-François Bourlart. The importance of the new Continental Development team lies in the fact that young talents have a better access to the highest level and that it motivates the youngest ones to join the clubs. I'll be working for both the Continental and the World Team, this is something that really pleases me. Physiology has a central place in my approach and this factor is even more important for the U23 riders as their capabilities are still in development. It is necessary to plan on the long term and to listen to them. It is when the riders and the trainer discuss their ideas and feeling that the necessary confidence for a good cooperation is built. It is essential to receive this sign of confidence. This balance between the scientific aspect and the human factor is what inspires me every day. »


General Classification


GDPR Cookie Consent with Real Cookie Banner