On Thursday Wanty-Gobert will take on its road campaign 2019. After a twelve-day training camp in Alfaz del Pi (Spain), almost the entire squad will line-up in the two upcoming races. The defending champion of the UCI Europe Tour starts on Thursday at the Trofeo Ses Salines (1.1), the first race of the Challenge Mallorca. Afterwards three more races will take place on the largest Spanish island. Sports director Steven De Neef counts on a strong twelve-rider selection, of which 7 riders participate per race.
On Sunday another part of the team will appear at the start of the traditional opener of the French road season, the Grand Prix La Marseillaise (1.1) under the sporting direction of Jean-Marc Rossignon. In 2018 our Norwegian Odd Eiking immediately started with a strong 2nd place. Sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren looks back on the training camp and gives a preview of the first races.
Hilaire Van der Schueren (sports director):
"We were able to finish a very fruitful training camp in Spain. After a few years in Benidorm this year we chose the nearby Alfaz del Pi as a base. It was not too warm, but the rain stayed away and the boys were able to do their training in good conditions. I am satisfied with what I have seen. "
"Samuel Bellenoue, the new head of performance, had worked out a great structure together with Fré Veuchelen. There was a solid variation in the training this year, with specific exercises for every rider. We as well worked ontime trials. The positions were optimized and the purpose for the riders is to build on that throughout the year. "
"We designed a well-filled program in February. It was not easy to get the right to start in all these races, but I am proud of what we have achieved. It is crucial that all our 21 riders get to race in February with an eye on the rest of the season. They need to stack race kilometers. But I am hopeful as well that results will follow soon."
"We have seen that Guillaume Martin gave a strong impression on training camp. In Majorca some tough races are waiting that should suit him. We surrounded Guillaume with a strong team to guide him to the foot of the final climb. Xandro Meurisse is part of that team. We expect him to grow form towards Volta Algarve. In the more flat stages we count on Timothy Dupont in Mallorca, assisted by Andrea Pasqualon, Boris Vallée and neo pro Alfdan De Decker. "
"Loïc Vliegen is our leader in Marseillaise. It is clear that he is in a more than decent form, but there are more riders than just Loïc. Aimé De Gendt, Tom Devriendt and Yoann Offredo can also take on that course. And Odd Eiking finished second last year right away. We start in the South France with a strong team in the width. Thomas Degand then again should be able to achieve a nice final GC in Étoile de Bessèges."
- Trofeo Ses Salines: Frederik Backaert, Odd Eiking, Fabien Doubey, Guillaume Martin, Xandro Meurisse, Boris Vallée, Kévin Van Melsen
- Trofeo Andratx Lloseta: Frederik Backaert, Timothy Dupont, Wesley Kreder, Guillaume Martin, Xandro Meurisse, Marco Minnaard, Andrea Pasqualon
- Trofeo de Tramuntana: Ludwig De Winter, Fabien Doubey, Wesley Kreder, Guillaume Martin, Marco Minnaard, Xandro Meurisse, Kévin Van Melsen
- Trofeo Palma: Frederik Backaert, Alfdan De Decker, Ludwig De Winter, Timothy Dupont, Wesley Kreder, Andrea Pasqualon, Boris Vallée
- Grand Prix La Marseillaise: Aimé De Gendt, Thomas Degand, Tom Devriendt, Odd Eiking, Yoann Offredo, Pieter Vanspeybrouck, Loïc Vliegen
Program February Wanty-Gobert
31/01 - Trofeo Ses Salines - ESP - 1.1
01/02 - Trofeo Andratx Lloseta - ESP - 1.1
02/02 - Trofeo de Tramuntana - ESP - 1.1
03/02 - Trofeo Palma - ESP - 1.1
03/02 - GP La Marseillaise - FRA - 1.1
07-10/02 - Étoile de Bessèges - FRA - 2.1
14-17/02 - Tour de la Provence - FRA - 2.1
15-16/02 - Vuelta a Murcia - ESP - 2.1
16-21/02 - Tour of Oman - OMA - 2.HC
17/02 - Clasica de Almeria - ESP - 1.HC
20-24/02 - Ruta del Sol - ESP - 2.HC
20-24/02 - Volta ao Algarve - POR - 2.HC