News 01.07.2019

Tour de France: The 8 representants for Wanty-Gobert

Wanty-Gobert concluded its selection which will be at the start of the 106th Tour de France (2.WT, 6-28/07) on the 6th of July. The Belgian team will present itself in Brussels with riders of four nationalities. Three representants: Frederik Backaert, Yoann Offredo and Kévin Van Melsen, will be added to the five names, already known: Xandro Meurisse, Aimé De Gendt, Guillaume Martin, Andrea Pasqualon and Odd Eiking. The Belgian rider Backaert, 29 years old, will participate in his second Tour de France after discovering the race in 2017. The French man Yoann Offredo, 32 years of age, made it just in time te recover from two hard crashes in the spring and show good form ahead of his third Tour de France. Finally, Kévin Van Melsen, 32, historical element from the team since 2009, will discover the Tour de France.

Jean-François Bourlart (general manager):

« The three last names are always the most difficult ones to decide on. We took our time to reflect, and analyze the collective performances in order to build a homogeneous and polyvalent group for this Tour de France. Kévin Van Melsen is a loyal teamplayer, who showed perseverance after his hard crash in the Ruta del Sol and deserves this selection. He can protect Guillaume Martin during the flat stages and go for breakaways. »

« Yoann Offredo has a true experience in the Tour de France, especially for guiding leaders. The last rider was not easy to choose, inbetween Loïc Vliegen and Frederik Backaert. Finally we made the choice for the regularity of Frederik Backaert during the start of the season. He was not part of the selection last year, he got the message, and is now recompensated for his continuing work. »

Hilaire Van der Schueren (sportive direction):

« We participate with a balanced team in the Tour de France, which can perform well with leader Guillaume Martin. One by one our riders are ready for this hard four week race. With this team we can set many different goals, prioritizing a good final classification and a stage win. »

« Together with the management we decided on the three last names. Kévin Van Melsen deserves this selection, because he is always ready to work for the team. I learned from the past that it is important to protect our team leader more during the flat stages in the beginning of the Tour de France, Kévin will play an important role here. Frederik Backaert is very popular since his offensive work in the Tour in 2017 and he gets a chance to keep this statute. I doubted for a long time about Yoann Offredo, because it was a long way to recover from his two bad crashed is the Denain GP and the Dunkirk Four Day. But he has proven during his last races that he is ready for it, he is a pro athlete for 200%. »

The selection:

Frederik Backaert (Bel, 29)

Aimé De Gendt (Bel, 24)

Odd Eiking (Nor, 24)

Guillaume Martin (Fra, 26)

Xandro Meurisse (Bel, 27)

Yoann Offredo (Fra, 32)

Andrea Pasqualon (Ita, 31)

Kevin Van Melsen (Bel, 32)