THE STORY OF THE TEAM
A LONG-TERM PHILOSOPHY
The team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux came from a project that began forty years ago. It all started with VC Ath, a local club in rural Belgium founded in 1974, which has gradually established itself as a solid amateur structure.
In 2002, Yves Lessens, Jean-Marc Rossignon and Jean-François Bourlart founded the Storez-VC Ath Team, a top-ranked U23 team that also included a group of juniors. Forming the best young Walloons of the time, VC Ath obtained victories in the Circuit of Wallonia, Flèche Ardennaise, Hasselt-Spa-Hasselt, Zesbergen Prijs and some provincial stage races.
In 2007, the team took a new start with UCI Continental status under the name Storez-Ledecq Matériaux. Afterwards it became Groupe Gobert.com and at last Veranda’s Willems. For four seasons, until 2010, the team would compete at continental level with prestigious successes in the Netherlands with wins by the Dutch sprinter Stefan Van Dijk. Also victories at the Polynormande or Zottegem were obtained.
In 2011, the evolution concluded with the transition to UCI Professional Continental status. First under the name Verandas-Willems-Accent Jobs, which would become Accent Jobs-Verandas Willems the following year. 2012 was marked by some beautiful victories but also by the death of Rob Goris, victim of a cardiac arrest in July.
In 2013, Wanty, already co-sponsor for several years, increased its involvement and the team became Accent Jobs-Wanty. The beginning of a long partnership with the construction company from Binche. In 2014, the team became Wanty-Groupe Gobert, thanks to the return of the Walloon construction materials dealer, who had already sponsored our U23 team under the name Storez, its trademark at that time.
The year 2016 was the most successful of the team, with a final victory of the Europe Tour team classification, twelve successes in UCI races and a triumph of the Italian Enrico Gasparotto at the Amstel Gold Race to win the first World Tour race of the team. A sad year too, with the tragic death of Antoine Demoitie in Ghent-Wevelgem.
Our structure has only grown and evolved. Thus, the budget has increased two and a half times since our rise to Professional Continental level, reaching approximately 4 million euros. The management continues to professionalize while respecting the key word of the team: patience and long-term vision. Thanks to a renewed agreement in the spring of 2016 with our two main partners until the end of 2019 and the solidity of the Want You Club, the businessclub built around the team, our project asserts itself as the most sustainable of the Professional Continental circuit.
- 1974 : Foundation of VC Ath
- 2002 : Team Storez-VC Ath
UCI Continental :
- 2007 : Storez-Ledecq Matériaux 2008 : Groupe Gobert.com
- 2009 - 2010 : Veranda's Willems
UCI Pro Continental :
- 2011 : Veranda's Willems-Accent
- 2012 : Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda's 2013 : Accent Jobs-Wanty
- 2014 - 2017 (2019): Wanty-Groupe Gobert