INTERMARCHÉ
WANTY GOBERT

Rune Herregodts & Arne Marit join IWG


Just like Dries De Pooter, Tom Paquot and Laurenz Rex, two other rising Belgian stars will make their World Tour debut with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux next season. Rune Herregodts (24) and Arne Marit (23) from Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise signed a contract until the end of 2024.

Since his victory in Paris-Tours U23, Rune Herregodts built a reputation of baroudeur and specialist of early breakaways. It was in this way that he achieved his three professional victories. He obtained his first succes at the end of October last year in the Ronde van Drenthe, concluding a breakaway of more than 175 kilometer by resisting to a sprinting peloton with Andrea Pasqualon on his own. A couple of months later, he started the 2022 in the same way he ended the previous season, by preceding his five breakaway companions in the Ruta del Sol after 185 kilometer in the lead of the race and conquering the leader’s jersey. He repeated this stunt last Thursday in the opening stage of the Sazka Tour after almost 200 kilometer in the lead of the race.

Time trial is another trademark of the medecine student, who finished fourth in two races against the clock won by Remco Evenepoel, in the Belgian championships in June and in the Belgium Tour one year before. For the second consecutive year he is selected to represent Belgium in the time trial (13th in 2021) and the road race at the upcoming European championships in Munich. During a short period on the track he set the third fastest Belgian time ever in the individual pursuit when he finished sixth at the European championships in 2019.

Arne Marit excels in the sprint and one day races. In the junior category he won Nokere Koerse and finished in the top five of the Tour of Flanders and the E3 Classic. A long series of good results, a silver medal at the Belgian U23 championships and several successes such as the GP Criquielion were rewarded with a first professional contract in 2021. Just like Herregodts, he achieved his first professional success in October, preceding Bryan Coquard and Elia Viviani in the sprint in the GP du Morbihan. During an impressive en of the season 2021, he also obtained four other top five finishes in the GP Jef Scherens, the Gooikse Pijl, the Ronde van Drenthe and the Dorpenomloop Rucphen and a seventh place in Paris-Tours.

« I’m happy to join Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux from this winter, because I was looking for an environment in which I can continue improving myself. Winning is the ultimate goal of any cyclist, but making progression is my main source of motivation. It is clear that riders become better within Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, which confirms the good functioning and management of the team. I learned from my future teammates that the team works in a professional way with them and during my first meeting with the direction I got to know more about the particular attention that is being paid to equipment. This is an important factor for me, because I really care about the details. I’m always looking for marginal gains. I get my inspiration from podcasts with Taco van der Hoorn for example. During my first two seasons as a pro rider I discovered that I’m able to follow the better riders uphill. But now I’m stepping up to the World Tour, I will have to find out again how I can use my qualities best to maximize my contribution to the team goals. It will be an interesting journey of discovery, because my intention is to stay longer than two seasons with the team. One thing is for sure: my predilection for early breakaways will remain unchanged! »

« After several years of contact with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, I’m happy that I will finally defend the colors of the team! I followed how the team grew to one of the best in the peloton, for example in terms of equipment. My training mate Aimé De Gendt and my former teammates from the Lotto development team, Kobe Goossens and Gerben Thijssen, confirm the family atmosphere within Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and the strong confidence the direction shows in one’s qualities. The results of Gerben Thijssen, for who I did the lead outs in the U23 years, speak for themselves. His strong progression as a sprinter this season inspires me. I hope to make the same evolution as Gerben by working with a fixed lead out partner and by receiving many sprint opportunities, just like him. My ultimate goal is to compete for the victory on the Champs-Elysées, the most prestigious sprint in the world. I showed my capabilities with a victory in the GP du Morbihan and a seventh place in Paris-Tours. Unfortunately, my progression was slowed down this season due to a long series of crashes and bad luck. I’m very grateful for the faith that Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux kept in me during this difficult period. It took away the pressure and motivates me to show myself as much as possible this end of the season.  »

« When stepping up to the World Tour two years ago, we invested in a lot of experience within the team. Now we’re focusing on a new generation of riders. We’re looking forward to welcome many young talents in our structure in 2023. With our new Continental Development Team directed by Kévin Van Melsen we will be closer to the promising riders and thanks to the investment in Dimitri Claeys as a new sports director for the World Team we can coach the youngest newcomers even better. » « Rune Herregodts and Arne Marit are two of the five Belgian talents we are giving the opportunity to step up to the World Tour. They convinced us from their qualities last year and can keep growing the next seasons, thanks to a new level of races and an experienced environment. Marit can for example rely on the expertise of Adrien Petit, Mike Teunissen or Boy van Poppel to make the next step in sprint races. In the U23 category he was always one of the favorites when it came down to a sprint and in the pro ranks he made his breakthrough last year with a victory in the GP du Morbihan and a top ten in Paris-Tours. It pleases me that a highly coveted Belgian sprinter chose for our team. » « Herregodts impressed me with his nice victory in Paris-Tours U23 in 2020. Also his three pro wins were one by one remarkable performances. Rune is a very intelligent person, who works in a professional way and who will add a lot of value to our team in time trials. He also has a nice future in hilly stage races. A Grand Tour debut will be an important step in his development. After his win in the Sazka Tour last Thursday I’m looking forward to his performances at the European championships. »

Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager) Tweet

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