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Transfer: Mike Teunissen pens deal with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert

The announcement is the first major move for the Belgian team, which sees a dozen riders off contract this season.

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Dutch rider Mike Teunissen is joining Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert on a two-year deal, officials confirmed Monday.

The 29-year-old rode six seasons with Jumbo-Visma, and moves to the Belgian WorldTour team to bolster its classics program as well as race alongside sprinter ace Biniam Girmay.

“When the management of the team showed great confidence in my capabilities, I didn’t have to weigh my options for my future any time longer, Teunissen said. “The complete package is appealing. The structure and management is good and I was offered an attractive role for the spring classics. I want to shine in the finals and create opportunities for the team in the shadow of Biniam Girmay, who has already proven that he can win the most important races. Next to the classics, I’m also looking forward to support Girmay in the sprint.”

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Teunissen was a product of the now-closed Rabobank development team, and raced with the LottoNL-Jumbo team for two seasons before moving to Sunweb for two years. He came back to the rebranded Jumbo-Visma in 2019, and won the opening stage at that year’s Tour de France and was part of the team’s victory in the TTT to wear the yellow jersey for two days.

The emergence of Wout van Aert in the classics marginalized Teunissen’s role in the classics, and the move to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert will give him more freedom to ride as one of the team’s top captains. The departure of Alexander Kristoff for Uno-X, also confirmed Monday, only underscores that move.

“His choice for our team confirms our ambition for the classics and what we showed with Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux this season,” said performance manager Aike Visbeek. “Mike will add a lot of quality to our rosters, creating more tactical possibilities in the finals. He is a nice guy to work with and will definitely form a good combination with Biniam Girmay and Adrien Petit in our team for the classics. Since his U23 victories in Paris-Roubaix and Paris-Tours he continued showing that he’s made for the classics.”

The announcement is the first major move for the Belgian team, which sees a dozen riders off contract this season. Kristoff is the top departure so far, and the team has also signed two young development riders.

Visbeek said Teunissen will also be a key helper to budding superstar Girmay.

“His excellent race intelligence and positioning capabilities are also strong skills in a lead out role,” Visbeek said. “His profile matches the one of our sprinter Biniam Girmay, as he can survive in hard races. Recently, I witnessed how he sprinted to second place in a hilly stage in the Tour of Norway. Mike also won several short stage races and is able to perform well in time trials. His arrival will reinforce our team on different terrains. I’m convinced that this transfer will lead to nice successes for Mike and that it will also be fruitful for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux.”