INTERMARCHÉ
CIRCUS WANTY

Rein Taaramäe and Boy van Poppel extend with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty


Intermarché-Circus-Wanty can rely on two experimented elements for another season, thanks to the contract extensions of Rein Taaramäe and Boy van Poppel until the end of 2024. In addition to personal results, both riders played a major role in the development of the young talents in the team the past seasons.

Estonian rider Rein Taaramäe (36 years old) wrote the history of the team several times since his arrival in the structure of Jean-François Bourlart in 2021. He became the first rider of the Walloon team to conquer the leader’s jersey of a Grand Tour after his stage win in the Tour of Spain on top of Picon Blanco. With eighteen participations in Grand Tours, he has a very rich experience which he passes on to the young talents of the team.

He also became the first rider of the structure to become national time trial champion, a title he extended for the third consecutive time in a row with the World Team and for the seventh time in his career. This season, he also finished fourth in the Tour of Oman and in the top twenty of the UAE Tour (19th) and Itzulia Basque Country (15th).

Dutchman Boy van Poppel (35 years old) played an invaluable role in the results of the different sprinters of the Walloon team in the four past seasons. Alongside van Poppel, his brother Danny has known his best season of his career. Young Belgian rider Gerben Thijssen developed into one of the fastest riders of the peloton. With his Dutch lead out, Thijssen won three races in 2022 and achieved the same number of successes this season with victories in the GP Monseré, Bredene-Koksijde and the Ronde van Limburg.

“This contract extension makes me very happy. With Intermarché-Circus-Wanty I found an environment in which I feel home and would love to end my career one day. Different factors explain this. Together, all riders and staff members form a group of friends, who interact in a friendly and helpful way. The performance team attaches a high importance to mental well-being. For example, they support me in my choices in my preparation. I feel a lot of confidence in my search for the best circumstances to work hard.” “It is thanks to this environment that I obtained several reference results with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. I’ve been very close to achieving my ultimate goals for 2023 several times, finishing on the podium of a stage race or in the top ten of the final classification of a World Tour race. I’m racing at a good level since the start of the season and I keep chasing a top result. I’m proud of what I achieved in my career and I consider each new result or extra year on the highest level as a bonus.” “I’m currently at altitude camp in Livigno, where I joined a couple of rides with the group of young talents of our team. After a long training period I’m always looking forward to be reunited with the team. II will start my last part of the season with the Sazka Tour, where I will race under the direction of Kévin Van Melsen for the first time and guide several talents of Circus-ReUz-Technord. Like in Oman with Francesco Busatto, it is always a pleasure for me to work with them. It makes me particularly proud when they break through.”

"Since my arrival in Intermarché-Circus-Wanty in 2020, we made big progress in the sprint. Despite these steps forward, I'm convinced that we can even do better. I'm always reflecting on which investments have to be done to reach the next step and it pleases me to know that the performance team gets to work with my advice. I'm very happy to receive the opportunity to continue contributing to the development of the sprint trains next season, aiming for always winning more races together." "This season we created a workgroup for the sprint train of Gerben Thijssen in order to accelerate the learning process. We also introduced a new method to analyse the sprints, gaining experience and learning from our mistakes in a more efficient way. What I noticed most in the latest victories of Gerben is that they were the result of a true team performance. Gerben grew into the role of a leader who knows how to motivate his teammates. In addition to my role in the sprint train of Gerben, I also pass on my experience to our other young sprinters, for example to Arne Marit during the Giro d'Italia. It is in this role that I feel at my best."

"This season, several young riders broke through with Intermarché-Circus-Wanty. I'm thinking of Kobe Goossens, Rune Herregodts, Laurenz Rex or Gerben Thijssen. It is the proof that we are on the right way in terms of talent development. It is the result of a good balance between young riders and road captains. Rein Taaramäe and Boy van Poppel are two of our most experienced elements, they help us making young talents better." "Rein takes on this role in the stage races. He started the season pretty well with good results in one week stage races and was then called up late for the Tour of Italy to replace Rune Herregodts and Taco van der Hoorn. Unfortunately he got sick, so he couldn't show himself in the Giro. Rein is now preparing for the Tour of Spain, during which he will have an important role for our team as a climber." "Boy van Poppel played a key role in the development of the sprint train of Gerben Thijssen and his six victories in the past fourteen months. For the second season half, also Boy is concentrating on the Tour of Spain, during which he wants to lead Gerben towards success with Julius Johansen and other elements of the sprint train."

RESULTS

General Classification

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