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Wanty-Groupe Gobert signs De Greef and Napolitano

By:
Cycling News
Published:
January 19, 2014, 10:07 GMT,
Updated:
January 19, 2014, 9:27 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, January 19, 2014
Danilo Napolitano (Accent.Jobs-Wanty) wins the sprint on stage 1

Danilo Napolitano (Accent.Jobs-Wanty) wins the sprint on stage 1

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Belgian team has 23 riders on the 2014 roster

Francis de Greef and Danilo Napolitano have found a new team in Wanty-Groupe Gobert, for the 2014 season.

The Belgian Pro Continental team now has 23 riders on the roster for this season. De Greef turned pro with Silence-Lotto in 2008 and rode with the team ever since. When Lotto-Belisol signed nine new riders for the new season, to fulfill other and higher ambitions, De Greef didn't manage to resign a contract.

The 28-year Belgian has started and finished 11 Grand Tours in his career: six Giro's, two Tours and three Vuelta's. His best result was a 19th place in the general classification of the 2012 Giro d'Italia, with several other consistent finishes around the 20th position mark in five other Grand Tours. He never managed to win a race in his career with the eighth place in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen in 2009 being his best individual result.

Napolitano was already part of the Accent Jobs-Wanty team in 2013 but didn't deliver the sprint results he was signed for. With only one victory and three podium finishes the 32-year old Italian sprinter was left aside for the 2014 team at first. Just like De Greef he kept training hoping to strike that deal for the upcoming season. Both riders signed with Wanty-Groupe Gobert in Spain last week.

Accent Jobs-Wanty, now rebranded as Wanty-Groupe Gobert, only kept nine of its riders from the 2013 line-up. It signed no less than 14 new riders, including Astana's Kevin Seeldraeyers, De Greef's teammate Frederique Robert from Lotto-Belisol, Michel Kreder from Garmin-Sharp and Vacansoleil-DCM's Wesley Kreder, Mirko Selvaggi, Frederik Veuchelen and Bjorn Leukemans. 

The team was also interested in signing former Olympic champion Samuel Sánchez, but needed to secure extra budget to do so. Wanty-Groupe Gobert missed out on a wildcard for the Giro d'Italia this week but were ambitious to ride a Grand Tour in 2014 and hoped to secure Sánchez as their team leader. Sánchez is still without a team to date.

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