Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will be expanded with three young Belgian talents in 2022. Kobe Goossens and Gerben Thijssen quit Lotto-Soudal, Laurens Huys was formed with Bingoal-Pauwels Sauces-WB. The three riders know each other well, as they were already teammates in the U23 category. The Belgian team can count on two young climbers and an ambitious sprinter for the two next seasons.
The 23 year old Gerben Thijssen accumulated the victories in the youth categories (Belgian U23 champion and 6th at the U23 European championships), but his development as a professional has been slowed down by a heavy crash at the Ghent Six Days at the end of 2019. At this first Grand Tour, eleven months after suffering from three cerebral hemorrhages, the rider from Limburg sprinted to a 2nd place in a bunch sprint. Just before this performance at the Tour of Spain, he also took 2nd at the Gooikse Pijl behind Danny van Poppel. Thijssen has also a history on the track. He won medals at Worlds in the youth categories and became Elite European Champion in the elimination. The rider living near Kortijk now signed a contract until the end of 2023.
Kobe Goossens is an offensive and combative climber, which he showed by winning the mountain jersey at the Tour de Romandie. His numerous kilometers in breakaways were also rewarded with a 6th place at the Giro in Guardia Sanframondi. The 25 year old also showed his climbing capabilities in the latest Tour of Spain by finishing 24th. In the U23 category, Goossens won a stage and the general classification of the Tour du Jura and he performed well in difficult classics. The ex-cyclocross racer from Vlaams-Brabant will continue his development with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux until the end of 2023.
The 22 year old Laurens Huys also feels good on hilly parcours and in stage races when the road goes up. He was one of the last survivors of the early breakaway in Liège-Bastogne-Liège with Lorenzo Rota and Loïc Vliegen and also impressed between world’s best riders at the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var by finishing 10th on top of the Col d’Eze. This spring, he finished 5th in the general classification of the Alpes Isère Tour and 6th in the general classification of the Tour of Hungary. The offensive spirit of the rider from Buggenhout will be appreciated by Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux during the two next seasons.