Belgian riders Jan Bakelants and Tom Devriendt extended their contract with Circus-Wanty Gobert. After ten year in the World Tour, Jan Bakelants joined Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans last winter. A successful first year with the Belgian UCI Pro Team results in a two year contract extension. Together with the structure of general manager Jean-François Bourlart, Bakelants will return to the World tour in 2021. The 34 year old Belgian rider will continue sharing his experience of ten campaigns in the World Tour with his teammates. The former Tour de France yellow jersey and stage winner achieved a 6th place in the general classification of the Tour du Luxembourg and a 9th place at the final classification of the Trofeo Matteotti in the colors of Tormans Cyclo Cross Team, before missing out on the medals at the Belgian national championships (4th). During his professional career, which started in 2009, he won the GP de Wallonie (2013), a stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné (2014) and the Tours of Piémont and Emilie (2015). Bakelants stays until the end of 2022 with the Belgian team.
Tom Devriendt is a member from Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans for six years already. The 29 year old rider mainly races at the service of the team leaders, but he also regularly achieves places of honor himself. In 2019, Devriendt was the fastest at the third stage of the Tour of Austria, after having won the Omloop van het Houtland in 2017. During the short spring campaign in 2020, he finished on the podium twice: at the GP La Marseillaise (3rd) and at the second stage of the Etoile de Bessèges (3rd). The Flemish rider showed in Paris-Nice with a 170 kilometer that he was ready for the classics season, which finally didn’t take place. A knee injury and operation kept the resident of Otegem off the bike for two and a half months, making it impossible for him to continue his success in the second season half. Tom Devriendt’s injury is healed now, so he already started the preparation for his seventh season with Circus-Wanty Gobert.
« First, I’m very happy about last winter’s opportunity to join Circus-Wanty Gobert-Tormans. I was convinced that I could play a role in this team, and I think my sportive performances and experience have been an added value. I’m not hiding that I feel well here. I’m having fun and achieving good results at the same time. The collaboration with the riders and staff goes very well and I’m looking forward to work with Aike Visbeek and Valerio Piva, who bring their experience from the World Tour. So I was pleased to receive the opportunity to extend my contract. The news about the step up to the World Tour was the cherry on the cake. »
« My knee problem made the second part of the season difficult for me, but my results in the spring, my devotion for the teamwork and last year’s victory at the Tour of Austria gave me enough confidence to keep working well. The direction knows that I’m grateful for their confidence, but I’d like to stress it once more. I feel good in this team. The role of helper suits me, and I’m happy to receive my own chance from time to time. This might change next season, but the opportunity to participate in a Grand Tour or other nice races is a great compensation. It won’t be easy to perform all season at the highest level, so I started my preparation for 2021 already! »
Hilaire Van der Schueren (sports director):
« In a pretty short time, Jan showed that he’s one of the cornerstones of the team. He didn’t have an easy preparation to the season, and the season was interrupted by the lockdown period. So I expect his integration process to continue next year. He’ll become the extension of the sports director in the peloton. »
« Tom Devriendt is a rider in whom I believe. He’s able to do fantastic performances when he’s in a good shape. I hope this World Tour project will stimulate him to work well and respond to our expectations. »
Jean-François Bourlart (general manager):
« We’re very satisfied about the level achieved by Jan after a difficult winter. Our step up to the World Tour will do good to him. The participation in all big races will give him the opportunity to reach his level again. He has an important role in the team during the next two years, because he’s the link between the riders and the sportive direction. »
« Tom is at home in our team. He can be very efficient in a team, especially in the classic races. He’s also fast, giving him the opportunity to win races. He deserves it to continue in our project. »