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Team Launch

Presentation Intermarché-Wanty : « Continue winning and building our structure »

On the occasion of the official team presentation in Albir (Alicante) this Friday 19th of January, the Walloon structure shared its ambition for the 2024 season with the press and partners and presented the composition of its three teams: World Team Intermarché-Wanty, the Continental Development Team Wanty-ReUz-Technord and UCI Cyclocross Team Charles Liégeois Roastery CX.


Biniam Girmay :
“2023 was a big year of learning for myself and for the team. We had an improbably successful season 2022 behind our back. Personally I achieved unexpected nice victories for a young rider like myself. The past season has allowed us to grow, both as a rider and as a team. For example, I rode the Tour de France and finished a Grand Tour for the first time in my career. I have noticed the differences small details can make to be able to be a contender for the victory. I also understood that you need luck on your side. In the Tour of Flanders, I was in very good form, but a bad crash prevented me from defending my chances. We have learned numerous lessons from 2023 and together with the team we want to return stronger in 2024.”

“One of these lessons was to adjust my preparation for 2024. This winter, I participated in the training camp in December for the first time. We enjoyed excellent weather conditions. We trained with the group for Tour Down Under and my sprint train, in an excellent atmosphere. Unlike other years, I started my season in Australia in warm conditions, which suits me a lot better than the unstable climate in Europe in January and February. This way, I can train in a continuous and efficient way. With the team, we continue balancing my competition periods and training blocks, including altitude periods in my country.”

“This season I will regularly be surrounded by the same group of riders in competition, such as my experienced lead out Mike Teunissen, young talents Laurenz Rex, Hugo Page and other riders who have the same qualities as me. We trained together a lot during the training camp in December to acquire automatisms. Racing together regularly is an important factor in success, in my opinion, and that would be a step forward compared to 2023, in which setbacks often prevented us from riding the same programme.”

“My goals in 2024? First, I want to start the season well. After Australia, I plan a long period at altitude in Asmara to prepare optimally for the classics on European soil. I am thinking of Milan-San Remo, among others.Then I will focus on an important period in the summer with races in which I want to perform well, such as the Tour de France and the road race at the Olympics, because the course suits me well. With the performance team we have established a very nice programme so I can give the best of myself.”

Gerben Thijssen :
“Thanks to Intermarché-Wanty, I have grown a lot as a rider. I arrived here in 2022 as a young sprinter with little confidence, without experience of how to tackle a final. I learned everything step by step, especially with my lead out Boy van Poppel. For 2024, we changed several things to let me take another step forward. The most important change is my collaboration with Adrien Petit, who will be my new lead out. After several weeks together, we have strengthened our bond. I’m looking forward to racing with him, I think we can achieve great things with our strong core. I also get the chance to benefit from the advice of Adriaan Helmantel, my new trainer. For the rest, we will continue to analyse every sprint with Pieter Vanspeybrouck. My programme will include a bunch of higher-level races, which is proof that the team believes in me. Among other things, I will ride the Giro d’Italia, with the aim of winning for the first time in a Grand Tour.”

Louis Meintjes :
“I start 2024 with a good preparation, with two collective training camps during which we benefited from good conditions. I have extended my contract with Intermarché-Wanty for two more seasons, which makes me happy. I am grateful towards the team for the confidence. It is this confidence that made it possible for me to overcome a difficult period due to my collarbone fracture in the Tour de France. The aim is to return there with the ambition of finishing in the top ten in the final classification, with a programme similar to that of previous years, except for some minor adjustments such as the Tour of the Basque Country instead of the Giro di Sicilia.”

Laurenz Rex :
“I made a step forward with Intermarché-Wanty in 2023. Even though the season had not started well for me because of a knee injury, I still managed to perform in the classics with a fantastic result in Paris-Roubaix. I was then able to tackle the difficult combination with the Tour of Italy well with the team. Even when was in difficulty, I always gave everything for the team. I would like to thank the team for its confidence in a young rider like myself. This year, I receive the chance to support Biniam Girmay, also in the Tour de France. We have trained a lot on leading Biniam towards the sprint. We will do everything we can to win a stage in the Tour de France and guide Louis Meintjes on the road towards a top ten in the final classification.”

Hugo Page :
“I took a big lesson from season 2023, in which I have known highs and lows: you always have to persevere and focus despite difficulties. I started very well in Australia, then glandular fever caused incomprehension when I did not perform at the same level in the classics. With the team’s help, I got back in shape until I finally got my first pro win and achieved several top ten places in the Tour of Spain, my first Grand Tour.”

“This season I will receive the honour of participating in the Tour de France, a childhood dream. Before that, we will line up with a nice team at the start of the French Championship in Normandy. I will also be part of the group for the classics, in which I will regularly race alongside Biniam Girmay and Laurenz Rex, starting with the opening weekend in Belgium. Our ambition is to be on the appointment, to play a role and aim for the podium, to make up for our losses from our 2023 campaign.”

Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager) :
“Our structure Intermarché-Wanty has undergone a continuous evolution as it is based on an increasingly strong backbone. We have a close collaboration with our partners to optimise every aspect of equipment and nutrition, we have trained a new generation of sports directors, we have set up a training structure. The youngest riders on our World Team can lean on riders with great experience. And Wanty-ReUz-Technord’s youngsters are regularly invited to internships with the pros, taking part in races and explorations.”

“For 2024, we have concentrated our efforts on developing our new generation of riders: letting them progress step by step, with a first Grand Tour, responsibilities to bring their potential to its full potential. We try to discover the talents of tomorrow, as we did at Wanty-ReUz-Technord with Francesco Busatto, Alexy Faure and Roel van Sintmaartensdijk, who are part of our World Team today.”

“Our goals this season are to be competitive in the classics, to play a part in them in races for the podium. We continue to dream of a stage win in the Tour de France this season, while fighting for a top ten in the overall classification with Louis Meintjes. Within our team it’s not just about results, we have the ambition to keep growing, with the aim of becoming a regular in the World Tour.”

Kévin Van Melsen (Sports Director) :
“Our Continental Development Team Wanty-ReUz-Technord had an exceptional first season. This success is the fruit of collective effort and excellent transversal cooperation between our three teams to offer a solid training structure. Several youngsters started the season in the pros, victory immediately followed. We are proud that seven riders from our team will start pro careers in 2024, three of them with our World Team. We will continue to work in the same way in 2024, but with new faces like Huub Artz, here on stage with our pros, in a role as captain. Our goal is to take everyone to the next level, to make them grow with the aim of getting them to the World Tour or Pro Continental level.”

Jean-François Bourlart (CEO Continuum Sports) :
“We can be proud of what we achieved in 2023. The past year enabled us to continue the development of our structure, to form the new generation of riders, to achieve success with experienced elements like Mike Teunissen or Rui Costa, and to follow the rhythm in the World Tour with a fourteenth place in the UCI ranking. I am particularly proud of the U23 riders of Wanty-ReUz-Technord who have won more than twenty races, seven of them signing a pro contract. That is proof of the quality of the Performance Team led by Aike Visbeek and the development structure we have launched.”

“In the upcoming 2024 season, we aim for the same goals. Winning is of course our ambition, but apart from numbers, we want to keep improving our structure and building the future. We have staff who are motivated as ever, animated by the desire to make our riders better. We are constantly looking to improve details in every domain, the equipment, the clothing, the time trial. We can already notice the quality of our preparation with our group in Australia, where Biniam Girmay is making an excellent season debut.”

“In addition to the sportive programme, our family of partners is also developing with passionate and dedicated members. Coffee roaster Charles Liégeois has become main sponsor of our cyclo-cross team. We welcome new players in cycling such as SITRA Group and construction company Van Thuyne. Wine house Fantini renews its partnership under the name of its parent house. We welcome a new media partner with RTL Play alongside Proximus Pickx and new technical reference partners such as Verge Sport clothing, Škoda Steveny cars, Etixx for nutrition and Lattoflex to improve the recovery of our athletes.”

RESULTS

General Classification

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