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AG Insurance-NXTG Team aims for WorldTour status in 2023

Belgian team welcomes new lead sponsor and updated kit.

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AG Insurance has stepped in to become the title sponsor of the women’s NXTG squad.

The team will race under the banner of AG Insurance-NXTG Team from Thursday when it lines up at the Brugge-De Panne Women’s WorldTour event in Belgium.

Along with announcing the new partnership, the team confirmed its plans to step into the WorldTour in 2023.

“When we turned into an elite women’s team in 2019 after the year in the junior ranks, we continued to build on that basis. When you build a house, you don’t start with a roof but with the foundations,” said NXTG founder Natascha den Ouden.

Also read: Patrick Lefevere to back NXTG women’s team in 2022

“We aim to provide young female riders with a professional set-up where they can realize their dreams of being a professional cyclist. This dream started in 2019 with our first-ever elite race at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and continues to grow every day and from tomorrow with AG Insurance and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl by our side.”

Patrick Lefevere agreed to help back the team in December 2021. The decision came not long after he faced a public backlash for comparing Sam Bennett’s return to Bora-Hansgrohe with women who return to relationships that involve domestic abuse. Lefevere later apologized for his comments.

“As I have discussed when we first got involved with the NXTG team, we were looking to work with a women’s team, to help from the ground up and build real foundations, and the project of Natascha is the perfect fit,” Lefevere said following Tuesday’s announcement.

“During my time in cycling, we have a track record of working with young riders and helping them to develop. We will apply the same philosophy with this team, giving young, talented riders a clear and sustainable progression path under the spirit, the culture, and philosophy that leads the day-by-day operations of the Wolfpack.”

Lefevere added that the team would build towards UCI WWT status for the following campaign.

“Over the rest of 2022, the team will look to transition to a structure made up of a senior team, a U23 team, and a U19 team, with the aim of the senior team joining the Women’s World Tour in 2023. Lefevere said. “It is a unique project within women’s cycling, and we are very happy that AG Insurance shares our vision and we look forward to seeing our athletes and the team progress.”