INTERMARCHÉ
WANTY GOBERT

Dion Smith returns to IWG


The New Zealander Dion Smith, who rode for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 2017 and 2018, signed a contract with the Walloon team for the next two seasons.

The polkadot jersey wearer in the Tour de France 2018, for three days, became the first New Zealander to wear a distinctive jersey at the Tour and is still the only rider of team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux who managed to do this.

During the summer of 2020, he made an interesting debut in Milano-Sanremo as he took sixth place, one month before his first professional victory in the Coppa Sabatini ahead of his former teammate Andrea Pasqualon.

Smith is a fast rider who can survive on hilly courses, finishing second this year in Per Sempre Alfredo, Ordiziako Klasika and the opening stage of the Vuelta Castilla y León. 

« When I joined the World Tour peloton in 2019, saying goodbye to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux never felt definitive. The team has made a lot of steps since then. After four seasons in the same environment, this is a good moment for me to reignite my hunger by returning to my former stable. For them to want me back shows they still believe I have something to give and this motivates me. With the Performance Cel we discussed the ambition of the team and which role I can play in their strategy. The proposal was really what I was looking for and it excited me. The program will be specific to my abilities. I look forward to working with familiar faces and meeting new ones. Six years ago I was warmly welcomed in this family and I expect it to be the same this time. My two participations at the Tour de France are very good memories, so it would be a dream to return in the kit of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. »

« Dion Smith progressed step by step in his career, so his DNA fits perfectly with the one of the team. His return is a new boost for his career. He has the profile we were looking for, his allround qualities enable him to play an important role in a wide range of races. He can reinforce our team in the finals of Ardennes classics, cobble classics and also stage races. He acquired a lot of experience alongside world class riders and has a professional attitude, a dreamed profile to surround riders like Biniam Girmay or Lorenzo Rota with. Dion also has fast legs himself, which he'll be able to show from January already to make the colors of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux shine. I can't wait to see him guiding the team in our first participation in the Australian opening races! » 

Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager) Tweet

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