Close this search box.

Bart Wellens is motivated “to contribute to the development of the structure”

On January 1st of 2020, the colors of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux appeared for the first time in the mud, in Baal, thanks to the brand new project “Tormans Cyclo Cross Team” from the Belgian structure of Jean-François Bourlart around Quinten Hermans and Corné van Kessel. With the reinforcement of young talents, the team grow and acquired a strong identity under the direction of the former double world champion Bart Wellens. Together with his team, he stays loyal to the CX project which is part of the structure of Jean-François Bourlart and will be extended with a women’s team and a Continental development team.

Last winter, the ten riders of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team won two world titles in Fayetteville thanks to Joran Wyseure(U23) and Zoe Bäckstedt (Juniors), a European title on the Col du VAM thanks to the last named and four national titles thanks to Kevin Kuhn (Switzerland), Thomas Mein (Great-Britain), Marie Schreiber (Luxembourg – U23) and Emiel Verstrynge (Belgium – U23).

17 year old Zoe Bäckstedt was undefeated in her category and achieved historical succes in Essen by becoming the youngest athlete to won a Belgian cyclocross race in the Elite category. In the U23 category, Emiel Verstrynge and Joran Wyseure succeeded each other on the highest step of the podium thanks to exemplary teamwork. And Quinten Hermans collected ten podium finishes and offered the team its first Wold Cup victory in the Elite category and its first European medal in the Elite category.

Behind those 22 successes lies a solid team directed by Bart Wellens, which supports the riders day by day on and off the bike and facilitates their staff. The alchemy between the riders, the staff and the equipment and the scouting of Geert Wellens is possible thanks to among others the devotion of paramedical staff Alex Spruyt and the drive for optimization of mechanic Kobe Siemons.

« 26 months ago, we proudly launched a new challenge in the cyclocross world, around Quinten Hermans and Corné van Kessel. From the start, our long term project shared the same ambition of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, becoming a team of reference in its discipline. The fact that we conclude our second complete winter on top of the standings is a fantastic reward for the devotion and enthusiasm of all people who are involved in this project since the start. This succes is not the fruit of a coincidence, I'm convinced that  with the experience of Bart Wellens and his team, many other riders will make our colors shine in the mud. »

« We have a fantastic season behind the back with many special moments, I especially think about the very successful national championships weekend. Seven out of nine riders at the start achieved a medal and this generated a lot of emotions. Each member of the team gives the best of himself to create the best environment for our riders. Their exemplary performances are the best possible reward for our work, I haven’t felt this satisfaction for years. I also noticed that other teams changed their perspective on our team. After the World Championships, we were on top of the rankings, it was almost too good to be true. »

« But progression comes with trial and error and I have to admit that in February, which was very eventful, it was difficult for me to accept the announcement of the departure of Emiel Verstrynge and Joran Wyseure. We can be proud what we achieved with all our young riders in the past two years. So I’m convinced that a good scouting and coaching need to stay the pillars of our project in the coming years. We give our riders the necessary confidence to achieve their full potential and offer them the possibility to go for their own chance, that is the factor we use to bring them to a higher level. »

« I’m enthusiastic about the idea that the cyclocross and World Team will soon be complemented by a women’s team and a Continental development team. I’m also very motivated to participate in this new stage in the development of our structure. Thanks to this expansion, our cyclocross riders will soon be able to choose from a large variety of road races to establish their road programme and their performances will benefit from that. The enthusiasm of the partners of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at the start of the cyclocross adventure has developed into a strong collaboration, so I’m happy that for all our ambitious new projects we can continue to rely on brands of reference such as Cube Bikes, Newmen or Nalini. »

« But before the start of the new cyclocross season, several other challenges lie ahead, to begin with my role as a sports director with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. I’m also very passionate about road cycling, the parcours of Dwars door Vlaanderen, Paris-Roubaix or the Tour de Romandie are already imprinted on my brain. I hope to contribute to the success of our World Team in the next months, by giving a hand to my colleague sports directors and by advising our riders. I always treat riders as VIP’s, so it won’t be a surprise if you see me next week with Jan Bakelants behind the scooter, no matter the weather circumstances! »


General Classification