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“We hardly missed a breakaway this year but we also played a part in the finals of the races. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to be top five in the Europe Tour ranking. We finished second with over 1.500 point...

Photo: Sirotti

WANTY - GROUPE GOBERT

TEAM PROFILE
|
NEWS
16.10.2014 @ 13:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Wanty went into the 2014 season hoping to finish in the top 5 in the UCI Europe Tour. By finishing the year in second place, the Belgian team exceeded its own expectations.

 

Wanty-Groupe Gobert finished the season with ten victories, 43 podium places and a second positon in the UCI Europe Tour ranking. For team manager Jean-François Bourlart 2014 was an incredible year.

“We can now measure ourselves up to the top procontinental teams and even with some of the WorldTour squads. We are respected and appreciated by the public, the other teams and the organizers of races.”

Sports director Hilaire Van Der Schueren joined Wanty-Groupe Gobert at the start of the season and saw a team that was visible throughout the year. Organizers of races awarded this with no less than 11 WorldTour wildcards, including all the Spring Classics and stage races like the Volta a Catalunya, Tour de Suisse and Eneco Tour.

“We hardly missed a breakaway this year but we also played a part in the finals of the races. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to be top five in the Europe Tour ranking. We finished second with over 1.500 points.”

Commercially Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert has become an important communication channel for the sponsors and partners of the team. This resulted in a three-year agreement with a new bike sponsor whose name will be revealed soon.

Wanty-Groupe Gobert is the only professional cycling team with its own business club: the Want You Club.

“This has proven be to a big success with three times as many members this year only. However, we are still looking for a third big sponsor to help us achieve our goal for the upcoming years: to become a 1B team, the division below the WorldTour, in 2017,” Bourlart explains.

With regards to the sporting side of things, Van Der Schueren has seen good results but also some points where things could have gone a little better.

“We could have done better in certain races but in general our riders improved a lot this year. In the case of guys like Jempy Drucker and 
Laurens De Vreese this resulted in a contract with a WorldTour-team. But also riders who were lesser known before the season like Roy Jans, Marco Minnaard, Frederik Backaert, Jérome Baugnies and Thomas Degand really did well and have made a lot of progress. In the case of Degand I really regret that he is leaving the team because a climber is hard to replace,” Van Der Schueren concludes.

For general manager Bourlart only one thing remains to be done and that is to thank and congratulate everyone who was involved in the team’s success this year. “Our riders, our staff, our sponsors and our fans: thank you all very much and congratulations on a wonderful year. We’ll see you all again next year.”

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