Arne Baers & Nathan Smith join Tormans CX & the Continental Development team

Belgian rider Arne Baers (20 year old) and Briton Nathan Smith (18 year old) will defend the colors of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux from September 2022. Both riders signed a contract until the end of February 2024 with the Belgian structure, enabling them to combine at least two winters in the mud with Tormans Cyclo Cross Team and a road programme with the new Continental Development team in the summer.

Nathan Smith won the bronze medal at the latest junior cyclocross World Championships in Fayetteville. He concluded his second season in the junior category in fifth place in the UCI ranking, thanks to his six victories on home soil and World Cup podiums in Dendermonde (2nd) and Tabor (3rd). This summer he won the bronze medal at the national Cross Country championships for a second year in a row.

Arne Baers from Paal-Beringen also showed himself in the junior category by taking victories on the Koppenberg, in Beringen, Niel, Wachtebeke and in Leudelange. When he stepped up to the U23 ranks at the end of 2020, he raced with the pros in each event. One season later he finished six times in the top twenty in elite races and was nearly always among the fifteen best riders in U23 events last winter.

Thanks to these two recruitments, Tormans Cyclo Cross Team will start season 2022-2023 with a group of six riders from five different nationalities. Quinten Hermans (Belgium), Kevin Kuhn (Swiss champion) and Corné van Kessel race in the elite category. Arne Baers (Belgium), Marie Schreiber (Luxembourg U23 champion) and Nathan Smith (Great-Britain) are U23 riders.

« After winning the bronze medal at the World Championships I was hoping to receive an opportunity to join a Belgian team. In my opinion it is the best environment to progress. I can't wait to step up to the U23 category in the colors of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team. I expect it to be a big challenge, but the learning process motivates me a lot. Therefore, I want to stay as often as possible in Belgium to race and to train. I'm looking forward to discover all mythical circuits and to acquire as much experience as possible. For now, the technical circuits are the ones I like most as I grew up on the mountainbike. I started racing at young age, but cyclocross and especially road racing are quite new to me. For these reasons I can't wait to work with the UCI cyclocross team and Continental Development team. This is the first step towards realizing my dream of becoming a professional cyclist! »

« I was lucky enough to receive the support of Bart and Geert Wellens during the past two years. I made a nice progression during my first season in the U23 category, thanks to the training sessions with the pros and under the supervision of Bart, which were great opportunities to push my limits. Last winter I went through a mentally difficult period after breaking my wrist at the season start and it was thanks to the advice of Geert Wellens that I got through it. Their unconditional support enabled me to find solutions in difficult times. This proves the belief the team has in its riders. I'm convinced that I'll continue my progression within Tormans Cyclo Cross Team, in a professional but also family environment. Also my summer road programme with the Continental Development team will be an important factor in my development. But first, I can't wait for the cyclocross season to begin, starting with our team training camp in Spain and my first races in Vorselaar and Beringen. »

« The expansion of our structure with a Continental Development team and a women's team will enable our riders to work all year round in a professional environment, in different disciplines and choosing from a range of different levels. The teams work in a close collaboration, exchanging expertise, establishing long term race plans tailored for each rider individually and offering them the best possible trajectory to progress. Concerning the cyclocross branch, we will continue offering our support to young talents in order to prepare them for a potential step up to Tormans Cyclo Cross Team. » « This work with young talents has proven to be succesful. I'm thinking of Zoe Bäckstedt, Marie Schreiber or Emiel Verstrynge. Offering a contract to Nathan Smith was a logical choice. His bronze medal at the World Championships was an extraordinary result taking into account the fact that he couldn't race on his own bikes. He will take his first steps in the Belgian cyclocross world and in the U23 category in our colors and will race a full cyclocross winter for the first time. This adaptation will take time, but he might also surprise us. Nathan is technically strong already, However, I'm convinced that from our training camp at the end of the month onward we can improve cyclocross specific skills such as the combination running-riding. » « Our vision is to give all young riders time to develop without pressure. That's why we offered both Nathan Smith and Arne Baers a contract for two seasons. Arne performed well in the youth categories, especially displaying his climbing capabilities. We will do everything we can to translate this in good results in both the U23 and elite categories during the next two winters. We believe in his potential and just like in the case of Joran Wyseure last season, we want to offer him the opportunity to show what he's capable of. It would be fantastic if Arne could follow in his footsteps. »

Bart Wellens (Sports Director) Tweet

Composition Tormans Cyclo Cross Team:

Elite Men: 
Quinten Hermans (BEL)
Kevin Kuhn (SWI)
Corné van Kessel (NET)

U23 Men:
Arne Baers (BEL)
Nathan Smith (GBR)

U23 Women:
Marie Schreiber (LUX)

RESULTS

General Classification

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