The team Wanty-Groupe Gobert will participate for the first time in its history in the Critérium du Dauphiné from 5 to 12 June. Our line-up : Frederik Backaert, Dimitri Claeys, Thomas Degand, Enrico Gasparotto, Marco Minnaard, Björn Thurau, Guillaume Martin and Frederik Veuchelen. The Belgian pro-continental team would like to shine among all the GC contenders for the next Tour de France.
« I want to hear the name of Wanty-Groupe Gobert at least once a day on Radio Tour », sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren said.
The fight for the general classification starts directly on the first day with a mountain prologue of 3.9 km on the steep climb of Mont Chéry in Les Gets (average gradient : 9,7%). The sprinters hope to their chance in stage 1 and 4. The punchy classics riders will make their mark in the punchers finish on stage 2. On stage 3 the sprinters will try to survive the last climb of category 2 whose top is located at 20 kilometres before the finish. The GC will be decided with three consecutive summit finishes at the end of the race. What can we expect from the Wanty-Groupe Gobert’s riders ?
« We can’t compete with guys like Chris Froome and Alberto Contador for the general classification. We focus on stage wins. The stage 2 suits Enrico Gasparotto. Björn Thurau is in form and has many chances to be part of the breakaway. For the high mountain we rely on Thomas Degand and Guillaume Martin. Thomas Degand got an elbow fracture and came back in de Grand Prix de La Somme. He is not 100% yet but he should play a key role in the mountains. I expect a surprise from our French rider Guillaume Martin. He just had two training camps in the Alps. He recognized many climbs of the Dauphiné », sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren concluded.
General manager Jean-François Bourlart also expects a great race of his team in this 68th edition. « It is a huge honour for the team. It is a recognition from ASO for the work we do. We showed that we can compete at the WorldTour-level. We also want to perform in stage races in order to get an invitation for the Tour de France 2017. »
Press Office Team Wanty-Groupe Gobert