VC ATH TO WORLD TOUR
From the launch of an amateur team in 1974 to leading the World Ranking for the first time in February 2023, an inspiring progression of the first Walloon World Team in history, driven by hard work and passion.
Number one of the world
“For the first time in its history, our World Team was in the lead of the UCI World Ranking. It was an extraordinary achievement of which we never thought it would be possible. It was a fantastic reward for all devoted people, both riders and staff, who have worked day and night since the launch of the VC Ath in 1974.” – J.F. Bourlart
Launch of a Continental Development Team
The structure launched Circus-ReUz-Technord under the direction of recently retired rider Kévin Van Melsen, aiming to offer U23 talents an opportunity to grow in a professional environment and create a talent pool for the World Team. After a blistering start with prestigious victories, at least five riders of Circus-ReUz-Technord signed their first professional contract during the team’s first year of existence.
Writing history in Ghent-Wevelgem
“Ghent-Wevelgem will always be the race which shakes up our team. Exactly six years after the disappearance of Antoine Demoitié in this race, our young Biniam Girmay became the first African winner of a major classic, writing cycling history and provoking a brutal revolution in the development of our team.” – J.F. Bourlart
Pink and red dreams
The first participations in the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana will remain in the annals of the team. In the third stage of the Giro, Taco van der Hoorn was the last survivor of a six man breakaway, triumphing solo ahead of the sprinting peloton.
It was in the same offensive way that Rein Taaramäe won a stage in the Vuelta, becoming the first rider of the team to lead the general classification in a Grand Tour. With Odd Eiking taking over the red jersey, the team led the Vuelta for nine days.
Step up to the World Tour
“This step up to the highest level, the first division, was a logical step for our team. We had been three times the best team in the second division, we won a major classic such as the Amstel Gold Race. It was time to step up a gear so we took over the company managing CCC Team to have access to the World Tour.” – J.F. Bourlart
Launch of a Cyclocross Team
Quinten Hermans and Corné van Kessel were the first riders to plunge in the mud with the colors of Circus-Wanty-Gobert. The cyclocross structure built around them quickly rose to the top under the direction of the Wellens brothers, with young talents winning national, European and world titles less than two years after the launch of the team.
Number one in the Europe Tour
The victory in the Amstel Gold Race was one of the many achievements of Wanty-Groupe Gobert in 2016. The regularity of the team was rewarded with the overall victory in the Europe Tour, the ranking of the second division teams in the races on the European continent, at the end of three successive seasons 2016, 2017 and 2018.
First World Tour success in the Amstel Gold Race
“The decision to resume racing after the tragical loss of Antoine Demoitié was not easy to take. But Enrico Gasparotto took the lead and told the guys that they had to pull themselves together and fight, all together, to achieve something exceptional. Winning the Amstel Gold Race with Enrico, our biggest victory, our first success in a classic, in this context, that was just unbelievable.” – J.F. Bourlart
Antoine Demoité & Rob Goris will never be forgotten
A double scar. The wounds are healed, but the pain still resonates. Exceptionally sad incidents staying in the memories of all people having a warm heart for the team and for cycling. The loss of two riders: Antoine Demoitié and Rob Goris. Both were hit by fate, with immense sadness for the whole team.
Hilaire Van Der Schueren joins the team
In 2014 Hilaire Van der Schueren was one of the new personalities joining the team. At the age of 75, Hilaire Van der Schueren is completing his 50th season in the DS car in 2023. After ten years in the structure of Jean-François Bourlart, he will say goodbye to his role as a sports director at the end of the year.
Launch of the Want You Club
In 2013 the team launched a business club, with the goal of bringing its partners together. The members reunite eight times per year to build relationships.
The ten companies forming the Want You Club in 2013 are still part of the club which now grew to almost hundred participating companies.
First Hors Catégorie win in the Tour de Wallonie
After a couple of victories in UCI races of second category, Veranda’s Willems managed to beat the big teams in the second stage of the Tour de Wallonie 2010 with Stefan van Dijk defeating several top riders in the sprint, a first victory on the Hors Catégorie level.