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Volta Valenciana

Intermarché-Wanty pursues its Spanish programme

With two victories in the books after two weeks of competition, Intermarché-Wanty starts its first stage race on European soil of the season this Wednesday with the Volta Valenciana (2.Pro), a race won by the Walloon World Team on top of two stage wins.

The five day race starts with two tough stages, rather unpredictable, each with a climb in the final 15 kilometer. The third day is more beneficial for sprinters, before the queen stage on Saturday and its 3700 meters of climbing towards the explosive finish on Vall d’Ebo. The event ends with a spectacular short stage of 93 kilometer towards Valencia, which enabled Rui Costa to achieve the double in 2023. 

Coming from Mallorca where Gerben Thijssen took the second win of the season, Vito Braet, Adrien Petit and Baptiste Planckaert continue their season on Spanish soil. Sprinter Arne Marit and his lead out Boy van Poppel, climber Rein Taaramäe and young rider Tim Rex of Wanty-ReUz-Technord make their first apparition this season under the direction of Sébastien Demarbaix and Pieter Vanspeybrouck. 

“The past years, Rein Taaramäe showed with excellent performances in the Tour of Oman that he is able to be in the mix with the best climbers from his season start. So he receives our full confidence for the general classification of this Volta Valenciana. This is why we did the recon of the queen stage towards Vall d’Ebo with the team in December. I also see opportunities for Vito Braet in the hilly finals. He has shown good performances in service of the team on Mallorca and will receive the opportunity to show his fast legs in the stages during which he can survive the climbs.” “With the rest of the team, we’re especially looking forward to the third stage towards Orihuela, which is probably the only true sprint opportunity and a first test for the newly composed duo Arne Marit and Boy van Poppel. After having largely contributed to the progression of Gerben Thijssen the past two seasons, Boy started a new project alongside our other young Belgian sprinter, with the same eager and motivation. Arne and Boy already spent a lot of time together, during our team training camps but also on their own initiative. They already built a connection before their first race together, which is great, because the mutual confidence between a sprinter and his lead out is essential to blindly trust each other during the races.” “Following his promising end of the season 2023, we’re convinced that we can lift Arne Marit to a higher level. In addition to linking him to an experienced lead out, we want to enable him to progress with a race programme containing numerous sprint opportunities. On the short term I’m thinking of the UAE Tour, during which we can analyse sprints every day. This will lead to a long series of one day races in which he will be our protected rider. He will also receive a role in a certain number of prestigious races. He has the right attitude to function well in a group with strong cohesion such as ours.”

Volta Valenciana :
Stage 1
 (31/01): Benicassim – Castellon (166km)
Stage 2 (01/02): Canals – Manc. de la Valldigna (164km)
Stage 3 (02/02): San Vincente del Raspeig – Orihuela (161km)
Stage 4 (03/02): Teulada Moraira – Vall d’Ebo (175km)
Stage 5 (04/02): Betera – Valencia (93km)


General Classification


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