Three experienced and loyal riders extended their contracts with Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans. Andrea Pasqualon, Kévin Van Melsen and Pieter Vanspeybrouck step up to the World Tour for the first time in their career.
Andrea Pasqualon engages for a fifth season with Circus - Wanty Gobert in 2021. The 32 year old Italian offered the Belgian team six victories during the past four years, with his GC win in the Tour de Luxembourg 2018 being the most noteworthy. The Italian sprinter concluded a solid season with podium finishes at the Coppa Sabatini (2nd), the Trofeo Playa de Palma (3rd) and the third stage of Paris-Nice (3rd). Also at the classics the resident of Vicenza showed his strength by finishing 14th at the Brabantse Pijl, 16th at the Samyn, 20th at Ghent-Wevelgem, 22nd at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and 24th at the Tour of Flanders.
At the age of 33, Kévin Van Melsen signed his thirteenth contract with the Belgian team. The helper from Lontzen is a part of the structure since the start in 2009 and recieves now also the team's confidence for season 2021. Van Melsen stepped up to the Pro Continental level in 2011, together with the team which was named Veranda's Willems - Accent. He finished his first Tour de France in 2019 and will be part of the first World Tour line up next season.
Also Pieter Vanspeybrouck extended his contract with Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans. In this way, the 33 year old rider expands his career by a fourteenth year. The Belgian born in Tielt started his pro career in 2008 with Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen, where he stayed until his transfer to Wanty - Groupe Gobert in 2017. Vanspeybrouck was immediately part of the line up for the first Tour de France of the Pro Continental team. He concluded his first grand tour in Paris with five top 15 finishes in sprint stages. The Belgian rider won the Sparkassen Giro in 2011 and the Omloop Mandel-Leie-Schelde in 2016, but within Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans he is especially appreciated for his qualities as a team captain. Nevertheless, the helper takes his chance where possible, resulting in podium finishes each year (stage 3 Tour of Luxembourg in 2020). Vanspeybrouck will discover the World Tour with Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans in 2021 and 2022.
« As soon as I became a pro, I dreamed about stepping up to the World Tour. Finally, I had to work for ten years to achieve it. I feel twice fortunate, because on the one hand I can stay with the team in which I feel good for four years already, and on the other hand I can finally make this big step in my career. They're only just behind our back, but I'm already dreaming about the classics and my first Giro d'Italia, or maybe even Tirreno-Adriatico. I hope to discover these fantastic Italian races. Anyway, I want to thank all sponsors of the team and general manager Jean-François Bourlart for giving me the opportunity. They believe in me since the beginning of our collaboration. »
Kévin Van Melsen:
« I started with the team back in 2009, when Willems Verandas was still a continental team with limited resources. The evolution is incredible! My participation at the Tour de France last season was already a huge highlight in my career. Now I also follow the team to the World Tour, the highest level, which is very gratifying. I'm happy to be a part of the team again next year and the confidence of the team is very nice. We'll have even more big races on the calendar, so the team needs riders like me who are there for the collective performance from the first kilometers. I'm very motivated to continue my work for our leaders, because it will only become more important the next years. »
« I'm comitted to the team work for four years now and I realize that our leaders appreciate it. This summer I especially worked for Loïc en Aimé, so it was nice that they wanted to return the favor at the Tour of Luxembourg. With this contract extension of two years, also the sportive direction shows that they count on me. It was quite a surprise when I learned that this would be in de World Tour. It's like a dream coming true... »
Hilaire Van der Schueren :
« Andrea Pasqualon is an important element in our team. After a collaboration of four years, we know eachother well, he feels home in the team. His contract extension is great news for Circus - Wanty Gobert, we can pursue our path together. »
« Kévin Van Melsen and Pieter Vanspeybrouck are two important riders on whom our leaders can always count. The next years, they will have to put their own ambitions even more aside, in order to play their role for the team. I expect them to follow the team leaders longer in the races. They have the physical capabilities to bring the World Tour races to a successful conclusion. »