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Gerben Thijssen extends with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty

The 24-year-old Belgian sprinter, who secured five victories against elite competition since joining Intermarché-Circus-Wanty in 2022, has extended his contract with the team lead by Jean-François Bourlart until the end of 2025.

Last May, Gerben Thijssen grabbed his first professional victory in the final stage of Quatre Jours de Dunkerque before his first World Tour success in Tour de Pologne. He eventually beat Jasper Philipsen to earn the twenty-fourth and final victory of 2022 in Gooikse Pijl.

Since the start of 2023, Thijssen added two victories on Belgian soil, winning against Caleb Ewan after a tight duel in the Grand Prix Monseré Grand Prix, then against Pascal Ackermann in the recent Bredene-Koksijde Classic.

This Wednesday once again, he will be accompanied by his sprint train for the Brugge-De Panne Classic. Julius Johansen, Baptiste Planckaert, Laurenz Rex and Boy van Poppel will be reinforced by the experienced Niccolò Bonifazio and Adrien Petit, who returns to racing two months after his crash in the Mallorca Challenge.

The selection lead by Steven De Neef, Hilaire Van der Schueren and Pieter Vanspeybrouck will compete in the roads of West Flanders, with three laps of the 48 kilometer circuit, each passing through the windy localities of De Moeren and Veurne.

« I went through a metamorphosis since joining Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. From an insecure rider, I became a confident sprinter. I made a lot of progress with my sprint train, largely thanks to the full confidence that the team has in my abilities. I would like to emphasize that this progress is the result of a team effort. Boy van Poppel's role on and off the bike is invaluable. Ioannis Tamouridis put together an effective training program, focused on sprinting. I benefit from a tailor-made competition schedule, in consultation with our Performance Manager Aike Visbeek, as well as nutritional advice from Jana Camphens. Dimitri Claeys and Pieter Vanspeybrouck invested a lot in analyzing the sprint train. Each of them played an important role in this adventure, which makes it so beautiful. I am very proud and delighted to be able to extend it. »

« Tomorrow, the level of sprinters will be high. However, it we can rely on the weather forecast I’m not quite sure we will see a bunch sprint. The wind will play a major role. I head to this race with confidence, because I have the support of a strong team in the crosswinds. I think for example of Laurenz Rex or Adrien Petit, who’s finally back in competition after his injury. In Nokere and Monseré I was in the first group each time the peloton scattered. We know that positioning will be crucial in the beginning, before the legs can express themselves in the final. »

« Since he joined Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, we gave Gerben time to develop as a sprinter by surrounding him with an experienced core of riders. We showed him trust with many opportunities for him to play his card. The constant progress he has shown since the beginning of our collaboration proves that our approach pays off. His recent success at Bredene-Koksijde shows once again that he has reached a new milestone with the team. His program will evolve according to his goals and his development, so that he can continue to progress without pressure. Gerben wants to join the circle of the best sprinters, we will continue our work in the coming years with the aim of bringing him there. »

« Two years ago we put our trust in the young Gerben Thijssen, who at the time received few opportunities to play his card. We were convinced of his potential, so we built an experienced team around him and gave him the chance to prove himself. Today, we can proudly say that we did the right think by investing in him. For Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, it is also important to have one of the best Belgian sprinters in its ranks. The recognition he expresses for our efforts motivates us even more for the next few years we will spend together. We would love to see him shine in the many races of our calendar that suit him. »


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