The Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux team announced their squad for the 2022 Tour de France, with the team backing four-time stage winner Alexander Kristoff for stage victories and Louis Meintjes as the team's general classification contender.
Kristoff came to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert in 2022 as a way to reset after being left off UAE Team Emirates' roster for the Tour de France last year. A wearer of the race leader's yellow jersey for a day after winning the opening Tour de France stage in 2020, Kristoff will be equipped with a solid lead-out train including Andrea Pasqualon and Adrien Petit along with his compatriot Sven Erik Bystrøm.
Noted attacker and Giro d'Italia stage winner Taco van der Hoorn made the cut along with climber Kobe Goossens. Both will be making their debut in the Tour de France, while George Zimmerman will start his second Tour with an eye on the breakaways.
Meintjes will target a top 10 overall, according to the team's press release. The South African won the Giro dell'Appennino and finished sixth overall in the Critérium du Dauphiné this month.
"We chose for a balanced team with both riders aiming for a stage win and a good result in the final classification," team CEO Jean-François Bourlart said.
"We're ambitious from the first week, with a group around Alexander Kristoff, who will receive the support of Andrea Pasqualon and Adrien Petit in the sprint or the stages in the north. With guys like Zimmermann, Van der Hoorn and Bystrøm, we will stay loyal to our aggressive temperament because we know their baroudeur qualities and we know that there are multiple opportunities.
"Finally, in the high mountains, we can rely on Louis Meintjes who performed well in the beginning of the season and confirmed this with a sixth place in the Critérium du Dauphiné. He will receive the support of young Belgian rider Kobe Goossens, who will discover the Tour de France.
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert, the newest WorldTour team, are competing in the Tour de France for the fifth time as an organisation and although they have already had ample success this season toward making the 2023 WorldTour, they are hoping for more victories and a good GC for Meintjes during the Tour de France to contribute to their ranking.
"A stage victory is our main goal and we have candidates on all terrains. Next, we'll try to finish for the first time in the top ten of the Tour by tackling the mountains well," Bourlart said.
As expected, the team did not add Gent-Wevelgem winner Biniam Girmay to the roster. The Eritrean champion is slated to race at the Tour de France. Not making the cut was Baloise Belgium Tour winner Quinten Hermans and new Estonian champion Rein Taaramäe.
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert for the 2022 Tour de France:
- Louis Meintjes
- Alexander Kristoff
- Sven Erik Bystrøm
- Kobe Goossens
- Andrea Pasqualon
- Adrien Petit
- Taco van der Hoorn
- Georg Zimmermann
Directeurs sportif: Aike Visbeek, Steven De Neef, Hilaire Van der Schueren and Pieter Vanspeybrouck.
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