On Sunday Wanty-Groupe Gobert will have a representative at the start of the European Championships on the road in Glasgow (12/08): Xandro Meurisse. For Meurisse it will be a debut in the Belgian colours in the pro category.
One day later Meurisse appears at the start of Binck Bank Tour (2.WT, 13-19/08) in Heerenveen. Sports directors Hilaire Van der Schueren and Steven De Neef selected the other following riders for the Belgian-Dutch seven-day event: Timothy Dupont, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Frederik Backaert, Dion Smith, Pieter Vanspeybrouck and Tom Devriendt.
"I contested the European Championship on the road already in the U23 category in Nyon in 2014. Bu this is my first national selection at the pro level. This is is a nice reward for the work I have done over the past two years. It provided additional motivation for me. Mentally the selection is also important. From the moment in Dauphiné that I learned that I was in the pre-selection, this gave me a sense of recognition."
"My main task on Sunday will be to make the race in Glasgow hard, in order to drop the present sprinters. After the race, I will be joining Greg Van Avermaet, Jasper Stuyven and Dries Van Gestel on a charter flight from the organization to Groningen, with direction Binck Bank Tour. "
"For me Binck Bank Tour is a unique opportunity to ride in the spotlight in West Flanders next week. As a West-Flemish rider with a preference for heavier races, I do not often ride in my home region. Thus I want to take my chances here. Unfortunately for me there is no Ardennes stage this year. But the wind can make the flat stages treacherous. Teammate Wesley Kreder knows Friesland well. He already warned me: "If there is some wind, you have to watch out!" But with Van Keirsbulck, Devriendt and Backaert we certainly have riders who can ride in the wind."
"In any case, the individual time trial is crucial for the GC. In the Tour of Denmark my time trial was a little bit disappointing. Five minutes before the start I was stung by a wasp in my lower back. That made it difficult to focus for 100 percent. But I am always motivated for a time trial. I want to limit the damage on Tuesday, even though it will be my third stage because of the European Championship, instead of the second for the competition (laughs). I hope for a good day like I had on the Belgian ITT Championships. In the flat stages I will certainly work for the team. With Timothy Dupont we have a fast rider who can finish close in the sprints."