Accent.jobs – Willems Verandas will be one of three Belgian teams in the Professional Continental peloton in 2012. The team will continue with the same sponsors, but it will change the order of their names from last season, when the team was known as Verandas Willems – Accent.
Accent.jobs is becoming “the full owner/sponsor of their Pro Continental cycling team,” it announced Wednesday. “The basis of the new team will consist of the riders who were in the spotlight last season and is being extended to include some targeted reinforcements.”
Wim Vanhaelemeesch will move in as General Manager, replacing Bill Olivier who has moved to the new Lotto-Ridley team. Jean-Francois Bourlat will continue as Sport and Operations manager. In addition, Lucien Van Impe and Thierry Marichal have extended their contracts as sports directors.
Stefan Van Dijk has also extended his contract “despite many ProTour teams showing interest in the Dutchman”. The sprinter won the opening stage of the Route du Sud, and also had five second-place finishes and two third places. “Stefan is very important for Accent.jobs – Willems Verandas,” the team said. “Last season he managed to win as many as 494 valuable UCI points.”
Climber Thomas Degand, Jempy Drucker and Seven Caethoven also extended their contracts.
“Behind the scenes we are very busy to further expand and professionalize the existing team, to be fully ready at the start of the season,” Vanhaelemeesch said.