Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux will be one of the thirteen World Tour teams at the start of the 42nd edition of the Tour de Wallonie (2.Pro), which takes place from July 20 to 24. This year, the event returns with its traditional five stages, after a shortened 2020 edition due to sanitary measures. The riders will start in Genappe (Walloon Brabant), and will cross all the Walloon provinces over the five days, to reach the final stop in Quaregnon (Hainaut).
After an opening stage which will pass through Ciney (Namur) and join Héron (Liège), the second day will be entirely in the province of Liège, with a difficult route through the Ardennes, with six listed climbs including La Redoute. The third stage, which links Plombières (Liège) to Erezée (Luxembourg), is undoubtedly the queen stage of this edition, with the Côte de Beffe (1.6 km at 8.6%) located in the last 10 kilometers. Then, the peloton will join Fleurus (Hainaut) from Neufchâteau (Luxembourg) with a less demanding crossing of 200 kilometers, before concluding with a fifth stage between Dinant (Namur) and Quaregnon.
At home, the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux team has assembled a solid selection of seven riders, with the Belgian Loïc Vliegen, winner of the 2019 edition, who is back in competition after leaving the roads of the Tour de France. He will be accompanied by four other compatriots, including Quinten Hermans, stage winner in Herstal and second overall in 2018, and Aimé De Gendt, 19th in the general classification last year. Also at the start will be Baptiste Planckaert, who impressed on the Tro-Bro Léon (3rd) and Tour du Finistère (5th) earlier this season, and Kévin van Melsen, who will be participating in his tenth time. Alongside them, Norwegian puncher Odd Christian Eiking, stage winner in 2018 at La Roche-en-Ardenne, and Italian sprinter Andrea Pasqualon, who will discover the roads of TRW for the first time in his career.