The Ardent Group Cycling Academy, launched in the fall of 2021, is the Walloon Cycling Skills and Expertise Center developed by the Walloon World Tour structure of Intermarché-Circus-Wanty.
This academy, supported from the start by the Ardent* Group, aims to revive the base of the cycling pyramid, in particular by supporting numerous clubs that are members of the Wallonia-Brussels Cycling Federation. At the end of the team’s Gala nights in the end of 2021 and 2022, Tombola proceeds were donated to the training of young riders in Wallonia.
8 clubs were supported in 2022 (CC Chevigny, TC Haspengouw, VC Ardennes, Wilink Brussels, Dannyji, IWG Wapi Team, Carbonbike Discar Academy, Sprint 2000 Charleroi), with a total of more than 20,000 euros donated, either in the form of equipment (235 helmets identical to those of the professional team in collaboration with our equipment manufacturer), or in the form of a voucher (at Intermarché) or in cash to supporting organizations.
The Intermarché-Circus-Wanty team always wants to support the training of young people in Wallonia and to offer valuable help to the clubs that support them, in particular through the creation of the Ardent Group Cycling Academy, it renewed its call for projects to clubs with riders connected to the Wallonia-Brussels Federation.
To qualify for financial or material support, clubs had to submit a project according to the following criteria:
* Be recognized by the Wallonia-Brussels Cycling Federation
* Propose a social and sporting project for the training of young cyclists
* Deploy riders in road races
In 2022, more than any other team, the Intermarché-Circus-Wanty team has made its mark on the world of cycling. Fifth in the world and the best Belgian team in 2022, the UCI World Team is aware of its impact on the cycling community in Belgium and Wallonia. For this reason, starting in 2023, a development team, which gives young riders the chance to evolve under a professional structure, will travel the roads of Europe. In addition to this development team, the Belgian World Tour and its partners want to support amateur clubs again in 2023.
The Intermarché-Circus-Wanty team is actually part of the club of Amateurs of VC Ath, which was taken over in 2001 by the current General Manager Jean-François BOURLART. More aware than ever of the difficulty for clubs to raise funds for their proper operation, the whole team and its Board of Directors decided to support projects carried out by Walloon training schools through the Ardent Group Cycling Academy.
*Ardent Group is a group of Liège investor families who share the values of solidity, proximity, curiosity and loyalty. Its vocation is to participate actively and responsibly in the economic revival of Wallonia through entrepreneurial and social projects.