The cycling structure Wanty Gobert will change name in 2020. The UCI Pro Team on the road, under the arm of the Want You Cycling structure will become Circus - Wanty Gobert as from the 1st of January. Circus, the subsidiary of the Belgian family-owned group GAMING1, an active player in casino, game rooms and sports betting, increases its commitment to the Belgian team which it supported since 2017 by becoming title partner number 1.
Gaming1, subsidiary of the Belgian family-owned Ardent Group through it's entertainment division, is present in Belgium and in seven other countries. Circus offers casino and online and offline sports betting. Circus, visible on the back of Wanty-Gobert's race shorts since 2017, is a key actor in Belgian sport. Besides its partnership with Corendon-Circus, with Mathieu Van der Poel, Circus is also present in football since its sponsorship for Standard de Liège in 2018. Circus, loyal to its will to accompany black-yellow-red projects, will become title sponsor of Circus-Wanty Gobert for the next three seasons with the will to accompany the team to the top of international cycling and to expand internationally.
Emmanuel Mewissen (CEO Ardent Group):
« After three nice seasons of Wanty Gobert, with their performances at the Tour de France - the biggest race in the world - as an apotheosis, we wanted to accompany them in their progression. To strengthen our partnership with team Wanty-Gobert makes a lot of sense for us. Actually, even if Circus stays loyal to its Belgian roots, we are developing internationally, with a strong expansion in casino's in France for example. »
The cyclocross project, sponsored by Tormans, will be named Tormans Cyclo Cross Team. The team, directed by the structure Want You Cycling of Jean-François Bourlart, will kick off 1st of January at the cyclocross in Baal (Belgium) with Quinten Hermans and Corné Van Kessel. Both cyclocross specialists will defend the colours of Tormans, a group of engineers in Antwerp, for the next three seasons, with the appearance of a UCI Cyclo Cross Team for the season 2020-2021 with Women and U23 riders.
Jean-François Bourlart (general manager) :
« Our structure reaches a new treshold thanks to the switchover of Circus to main sponsor, Wanty and Gobert, supporting our project since 2014 as title partners and continuing as active board members of Want You Cycling, enabled us to open the doors of the team for new partners. The name's changeover from Wanty-Goupe Gobert to Wanty Gobert during the off-season allowed symbolically the association of a new company to the team name. Tormans was a first candidate, but will stay title partner of our cyclo-cross project, with also a good visibility on the road. »
« The magnitude of Circus in our project increases again. Our structure grew a lot since I took the commands in 2001. We arrived at a hinge moment in the history of our team after three participations in the Tour de France. The UCI submitted new rules, motivating us even more to stay at the top of the best UCI Pro Teams, in order to qualify automatically for the World Tour races. »
« This change in partners brings a new impetus to our project. Wanty and Gobert, accompanying the team for more than ten years, continue to support us at their scale. Circus reflects our image: a family-owned group, 100% Belgian and with a continuing growth. We never shot ahead, by progressing through the levels reasonably. We wish to sustain our momentum with Circus-Wanty Gobert! »
« Alongside, our cyclocross project with Tormans stays a priority. We're ready to get started the 1st of January in the mud in Baal with Quinten Hermans and Corné Van Kessel, but also with Fabien Doubey and Xandro Meurisse, rediscovering their first love. We want to build Tormans Cyclo Cross Team to one of the landmark projects of the discipline, by relying upon the best female and U23 riders as from next winter. »
Benoit Soenen (CEO Groupe Wanty):
« The Wanty Group is proud of the level reached by our team. We support the project as main partners since 2013, and we will continue to contribute with all our support in the future. We always shared the same vision with Jean-François Bourlart,: the team has to grow. This happens since several years thanks to the Want You Club, our business club which doesn't cease its development. But also by offering an opening in the name of the team to another company. We consolidate the team Circus-Wanty Gobert which, I'm convinced, will again reach a new sportive level on both the road and in cyclocross. »
Ronald Gobert (CEO Groupe Gobert):
« Groupe Gobert and cycling teams, it's a long love story. It began almost 15 years ago, when it was still VC Ath with Storez Ledecq Materials. Our commitment will always be present, and the arrival of Circus as main partner corresponds to the phiosophy of our project, in which we were ready to gradually reduce our place in the name. Firstly, by switching from Groupe Gobert to Gobert, and afterwards by becoming Circus-Wanty Gobert. Just like Wanty, Gobert and Tormans, Circus is a family-owned group. We already experienced intense emotions, during the Tour de France and elsewhere, and I'm convinced that many more will follow thanks to this growing project! »
Jan Tormans (CEO Tormans Group):
« Everything went very fast, both for the team and for our group, Tormans. We decided to incorporate this project for three years, with a focus on cyclocross. The arrival of Circus as title partner for the road team allows the structure to evolve. The road team of course, but also the cyclocross project. We keep the same ambition with Tormans Cyclo Cross Team: become one of the reference teams in cyclocross. We can start to build the future, by recruiting the best U23 and female riders. I'm looking forward to the kick off in Baal 1st of January with Quinten Hermans and Corné Van Kessel in the colours of the Tormans Cyclo Cross Team. »
Hilaire Van der Schueren (sportive direction) :
« Our will is to continue our progress both on the road and in cyclocross. We want to become one of the best, if not the best cyclocross team in the world. In this regard, we won't only concentrate on the pro men, we also want to reinforce the team with elite women and U23 riders. The road season is also approaching, and I'm happy to see that everybody is preparing well. We'll continue to target the position of best UCI Pro Team in the World Ranking for the next three years. The partnerships with Circus and Tormans enable us, on the financial side, to reinforce our team to reach our goal. »
Circus, based in Liège in Belgium, is a subsidiary of GAMING1 with a presence of more than 20 years in the entertainment sector and owner of the Grand Casino of Namur and the Casino of Spa. Circus is a Belgian website of casino games and sports betting, active since August 2011 and registered by the Gaming Commission. The company is supported by a network of thirty Circus Casino's in Belgium. With passion for sports in its fundamentals, Circus has at heart to value Belgian sports and athletes in order to contribute to put them nationally and internationally in the spotlights.
The GAMING1 group, with more than 1,000 employees among whom 250 associated to the headquarters in Liège and a turnover of 220 million euros in 2018, is the Belgian leader in gambling (casino's, sports betting and poker) both online and offline. The group's ambition is to become a global reference in the regulated markets of online games, thanks to the development of its own technologies and its omnichannel approach. Its Belgian activities include the Casino's in Namur, in Spa and more than 30 Circus game rooms, next to the websites Circus.be, 777.be or pokerstars.be. Abroad, the group is owner of four casino's in France, among which is one in Paris, and of the Casino de Davos in Switzerland. Furthermore, they operate, in partnership with national operators leading their market, more than ten online gaming websites in Spain, Switzerland, Portugal, France, Serbia, Columbia and are developing new markets.
GAMING1 is a part of the portfolio of Ardent Group, a grouping of four families of investors in Liège, sharing values of strentgh, curiosity and loyalty. Their aim is to participate actively and responsably to the redeployment of the economics in Wallonia through entrepreneurial and societal projects. Ardent Group is active in diverse activities like gambling, software development, real estate, led screens, energy or beer and counts more than 1,500 employees.