Belgian Pro-Continental team taking shape
Michel Kreder announced recently in a statement on his website that he is making the transition from Garmin Sharp to Belgian Professional Continental team Wanty-Groupe Gobert. After speaking with Garmin and a number of other teams, Kreder chose to join the Belgian team on a one-year contract due better financial conditions and the "free role" he will be afforded.
"I have had a lot of fun riding with Garmin Sharp," explained Kreder. "The past four years I have started my career with the team and have achieved good results.
"I deliberately choose a team with a pro-continental status where I will get a free role and perhaps be a team-leader […] Scoring points in the Europe Tour and surprising in the World Tour. They are my goals for 2014."
Kreder's decision comes as a contrast to Ben Hermans (RadioShack) who reportedly had a verbal agreement with Wanty-Groupe Gobert but instead chose to join BMC.
"If you have to choose between a WorldTour team and a Pro Continental team, it's quite easy," said Hermans.
The departure from Garmin will see Michel Kreder leaving his brother Raymond who also rides for Jonathan Vaughters' team, to be joined instead by his cousin Wesley at Wanty-Groupe Gobert.
"I'm very happy with the arrival of my cousin Wesley Kreder to Wanty-Groupe Gobert. Attracting Wesley and the whole structure of this new project, made the choice even easier," explained Michel Kreder. "I see the future with confidence."
Wanty-Groupe Gobert came about after the departure of Accent Jobs as a co-sponsor of the Accent Jobs-Wanty team, with Groupe Gobert being courted to fill the team's financial void by current Vacansoleil director Hilaire Van Der Schueren. Nico Sijmens (Cofidis) is another recent signing to Van Der Schueren's new team with the 2013 Rhône-Alpes Isère Tour champion joining for one year.
"With Sijmens and Kreder and we have attracted two riders that fit perfectly with the strategy of our team," a team spokesman told De Standaard. "However, we continue to look forward to further strengthening. There are many free riders but it needs to fit within our financial picture."
Riders currently signed to Wanty-Groupe Gobert for 2014: Andy Capelle, Jempy Drucker, Grégory Habeaux, James Vanlandschoot, Thomas Degand, Jérôme Gilbert, Tim De Troyer, Roy Jans, Kevin Van Melsen (Accent Jobs-Wanty), Björn Leukemans, Mirko Selvaggi, Frederik Veuchelen, Wesley Kreder (Vacansoleil-DCM), Frederique Robert (Lotto-Belisol), Kevin Hulsmans (Vini Fantini), Jerome Baugnies (To Win-Josan), Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Michael Kreder (Garmin Sharp).
Van de Schueren has prevouisly stated that the team aims to sign between 20-25 riders for 2014.
Back to top