Wanty-Groupe Gobert has completed its roster for 2017. DS Hilaire Van der Schueren will also be counting on Lieuwe Westra the coming season. The former Dutch time trial champion gets the chance to aim at new victories.
Time trial specialist and rouleur Westra wore the Astana jersey for the past three years. He showed himself on several occasions, as a key helper for Vincenzo Nibali in the cobblestone stage from Ypres to Arenberg during the Tour of 2014 for example. Or when he took a stage in the Tour of Catalunya and the Dauphiné of that same year. This year the rider from Friesland (north of the Netherlands) was able to win the GC at the Three Days of De Panne – Koksijde.
“Since that victory, I feel like I want to go for my own chances more often again. I have had a wonderful time at Astana, and I want to thank the team for that. In a smaller team like Wanty-Groupe Gobert I can take up another role in the races. And that is something I am also looking forward to”, Westra explains. “On top of that, apart from Hilaire, I will be working with many familiar faces. In a way riding for this team will also feel a bit like coming home.”
Grand tour ambition
“We want to maintain or maybe even exceed this year’s results and will be aiming at another top ranking in the UCI Europe Tour next year”, team manager Jean-François Bourlart adds. “Moreover, it is not a secret we would like to ride a grand tour in 2017. With yet another experienced rider like Westra, we underline that ambition once more.”