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Tour de France

12 riders of Intermarché-Wanty preselected for Tour de France

With two weeks to go until the Grand Départ, Intermarché-Wanty selects 12 riders in a longlist for the upcoming Tour de France, which starts from Florence on 29 June and finishes in Nice on 21 July. 

For its seventh participation, the Walloon World Team has compiled an extensive list with the ambition to take its first ever stage win at the Tour and finish in the top 10 in the individual final classification, as Louis Meintjes already did in 2022 with a seventh place.

The 111th edition of the Tour will be a special one, with a new Grand Départ and a new finale. For the first time, the race will start in Italy, with three stages in Florence. And for the first time ever, the Grande Boucle will not finish in the capital, but in Nice, with a time trial on the Côte d’Azur on 21 July.

Among the confirmed names in the team is South African climber Louis Meintjes, the designated rider for the general classification. In addition to his seventh-place finish in the 2022 edition, he finished eighth in 2016 and 2017, as well as 10th in La Vuelta in 2022 with Intermarché-Wanty.  

Giro stage winner and Gent-Wevelgem winner Biniam Girmay is preparing for his second consecutive Tour de France. The Eritrean rider has shown his great form in recent weeks, with a victory in the Circuit Franco-Belge and second places in the Brussels Classic and the Rund um Köln to his podium in the Giro. 

Sprinter Gerben Thijssen is about to discover the Tour for the first time and is one of five Belgians on the extended list. Since joining Intermarché-Wanty, he has won nine times against top sprinters. This year he won the Trofeo Palma and the Tour of the Algarve, and he is quietly returning to form after the ankle injury that prevented him from taking part in the Giro, as evidenced by his podium finish in the Tour of Belgium.

Alongside Thijssen, youngsters Hugo Page and Laurenz Rex are the other two debutants guaranteed to contest their first Tour de France. In 2023, they made solid Grand Tour debuts, Page in the Vuelta and Rex in the Giro, with several top 10 finishes. And this season, they have distinguished themselves in the service of the team, contributing to the victories of Girmay and Thijssen, in addition to personal achievements such as Rex’s win at Le Samyn and Page’s podium finish at the Critérium du Dauphiné. 

The sixth confirmed name in the squad is Mike Teunissen, stage winner at the 2019 Tour de France and holder of the yellow jersey. An experienced figure, he has four Tours to his name and plays a major role in the team, alongside Biniam Girmay and Gerben Thijssen, and recently with ZLM Tour winner Rune Herregodts. 

Performance Manager Aike Visbeek“With a clear aim to achieving our objectives in this Tour de France, we have assembled a homogeneous group of twelve riders. All of them have benefited from optimum preparation, with the exception of Kobe Goossens who crashed out of the Critérium du Dauphiné and is therefore fine-tuning his condition at altitude in Livigno. The presence of five Belgian riders in our extended selection ensures strong representation, which is important for us. Our leaders Louis Meintjes and Biniam Girmay are surrounded by riders with whom they are used to racing and with whom they have shared much of the competition programme. With Laurenz Rex, Gerben Thijssen and Hugo Page, we have three young talents who will be discovering the Tour for the first time, and in whom we have complete confidence. Hugo and Laurenz made a big impression on their first Grand Tour last year, and this season they have confirmed their ability to play their cards right and to serve the team.”

“After his superb start to the season, Gerben is coming on strong, as he showed at the Tour of Belgium against the top sprinters. He also had the opportunity to get his bearings with Biniam Girmay over a number of events in May. In addition to the selection of eight riders, we have set aside four equally divided reserves, two dedicated to the sprint train and two for the mountains. The final decision will be taken after next week’s national championships. We’re very proud of what Rune Herregodts has achieved recently, with some remarkable performances in the time trial. He will continue his season without the Tour, focusing on this discipline and other important objectives. As for Adrien Petit, an experienced and valuable road captain, injuries are preventing him from being fit enough to start the Tour.”

RESULTS

General Classification

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