Wanty-Groupe Gobert hoping for Tour de France wildcard

Van der Schueren claims strong team deserves a chance

The Wanty-Groupe Gobert team has “a good chance of a wildcard” to ride the 2017 Tour de France, according to sports director Hilaire Van der Schueren.

He cites his strong squad, with multiple French riders, plus the fact that the Tour will pass through Belgium again.

The team will be attending the Tour route presentation in Paris on Tuesday, and also has a meeting with Tour organiser ASO in November, he told sporza.be.

“We are in the lead in the Europe Tour, which means we are the best Pro Continental team,” he said, also pointing to the "excellent victory in this year’s World Tour" of Enrico Gasparotto, who was the surprise winner of the Amstel Gold Race in the spring. 

The 2017 roster will have a strong French presence. Young rider Guillaume Martin is “the biggest French talent around,” according to Van der Schueren.

"We will also have the French neo-pro Fabien Doubey and the experienced Guillaume Laverlet, and have signed Yoann Offredo.

“In my head I have designed a great team that can score in every Tour stage: in the sprints and time trials and in the mountains.”

While Gasparotto has left the team, Van der Schueren believes Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and Pieter Vanspeybrouck will be able to fill the Italian's shoes.

“It is also nice that the Tour passes through Wallonie,” Van der Schueren said. “Maybe even through Binche, which is Wanty-Groupe Gobert’s home.”

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