What's Cool In Road Cycling

Wanty-Groupe Gobert to the Tour de France

The Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert will take part at the Tour de France for the very first time. The management of the team received this Thursday morning the confirmation from organiser ASO for the wild card for the Tour de France (2-23/07) and the Critérium du Dauphiné (04-11/06).

Jean-François Bourlart (team manager):
“We are very proud of it. We hoped to be at the start of a grand tour, but we didn’t dare to think at the Tour de France. It demonstrates the respect organisers and cycling world has now for our team. We knew taking part in the Dauphiné last year could open some doors. It confirms the improvement of the team step by step. Last year, we won the Amstel Gold Race, our first World Tour race, and the UCI Europe Tour classification : triggering elements for Christian Prud’homme.

Since the VC Ath, founded in 1974, we made a long way ! First with our U23 squad, then with our Continental Team and now Pro Continental fort he 7th year in a row. At the Tour de France, Wanty-Groupe Gobert finally plays with the big boys through work, dedication and confidence.”

Hilaire Van der Schueren (sport director):
“I had a good feeling but we had to wait for the confirmation of our wild card. Following last year results, it’s totally deserved, it rewards the hard work we did to bring Wanty-Groupe Gobert at this level.

When I arrived in the team Wanty-Groupe Gobert four years ago, we started again from 0 willing to make a step forward year after year. Taking part in the Tour e France it the greatest possible. We hoped for the Vuelta, but now we have access to the Tour de France. A good news for Wanty, Groupe Gobert and all our partners. Now, we have to make it true but I’m confident.

We are going to plan for the Tour de France, working with a core of riders to bring them in the best condition possible to perform in July.”

Benoit Soenen (CEO Wanty Group):
“Like the company Wanty, we always wanted to grow up our cycling team step by stem, not cutting corners. We moved forward with our capacities, keeping our course of action. Since Wanty arrived in the naming of the team, our progression was exponential. After winning the UCI Europe Tour in 2016, we touch the recognition with this Tour de France Wild Card.

In the name of Groupe Wanty, I want to unite our 900workers, the staff of the team and all partners of Wanty-Groupe Gobert fort this Tour de France invite. For me, it’s a childhood dream coming true.

This participation at the biggest cycling race in the world will offer a great visibility to the Groupe Wanty and will help us for international development.

I already invite our riders to honour this wild card making the best possible performances during those 3 racing weeks. As always, Wanty will give the best to be up to it.”

Ronald Gobert (CEO Groupe Gobert):
“I got an extraordinary emotion when I heard this incredible news. Sportingly and humanly we stepped into an uncommon adventure with our Wanty-Groupe Gobert team. It makes this dedication more beautiful.
In spite of the disproportionate financial amount invested by some in sport, this Wild Card proves it’s possible to make one’s dream come true. Sport is beautiful, sport is great!

Being associated to the 3rd most watched event in the world will boost the fame of Groupe Gobert.”

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