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"The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, which I think is the most beautiful race of the year, are the main goals in 2015 for me."

Photo: Vacansoleil-DCM




27.01.2015 @ 10:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Yesterday Wanty-Groupe Gobert presented their team for the 2015 season. Björn Leukemans remains one of the leaders of the Belgian pro continental team that has been reinforced by the signings of Yannick Eijssen and Italians Enrico Gasparotto and Marco Marcato.



Until now, the team has failed to receive a wild card for one of the grand tours and so is likely to focus on the classics. Marcato and Gasparotto have already proved their skills in those races. 30-year-old Marcato won the 2012 Paris-Tours while 32-year-old Gasparotto won the 2012 Amstel Gold Race. Nonetheless, 37-year-old Björn Leukemans who was 9th in the 2014 Tour of Flanders and 15th in the 2014 Paris-Roubaix, will still have a leadership role. In the sprints, the team will count on Roy Jans.



"In 2014 we were second in the Europe Tour. We won ten races and four kermesses, were on the podium 43 times and finished in the top ten 69 times. The goal is to do at least as well in 2015," sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren said, according to Het Nieuwsblad. "Not to receive an invitation for a grand tour is a disappointment, but step by step we want to continue to grow."


In 2015, Wanty-Groupe Gobert will have a budget of 3 million euros. The team starts its season on February 1 in the Grand Prix La Marseillaise.



"The Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, which I think is the most beautiful race of the year, are the main goals in 2015 for me," said Bjorn Leukemans. In 2010, Leukemans was fourth in Flanders and in 2007 he was also fourth in Roubaix. Last year, his first with Wanty-Groupe Gobert, he finished ninth in Flanders and fifteenth in the Hell of the North. He was fifth in the Brabantse Pijl and 11th in the Amstel Gold Race.


"Compared to last season, we have strengthened our team. We have lost some valuable forces, but Enrico Gasparotto and Marco Marcato are real reinforcements. A young rider like Kevin Van Melsen is getting stronger. Personally, I feel good at the age of 37. I had a good winter and a great training camp in January in Benidorm."


For Leukemans, the season begins on February 1 at the Grand Prix La Marseillaise. Then he will fo Etoile of Bessèges, Volta ao Algarve, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Three Days of West Flanders.



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