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Belgian-based Wanty-Groupe Gobert is placing a grand tour invite front and center for its top priorities going into 2015.
After signing three high-profile Italians, the Professional Continental team is hoping to earn its first grand tour bid, ideally the Giro d’Italia. Going into 2015, the team brings on Enrico Gasparotto (Astana), Marco Marcato (Cannondale), and Simone Antonini (Marchiol).
“We have signed strong riders for next season, including three new Italians,” said team manager Jean-Francois Bourlart in a press release. “We have strengthened the Italian part of our team significantly. We would therefore like to receive a wildcard for the Giro d’Italia, and other RCS races, such as Milano-Sanremo, Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico, and Lombardia.”
The team notched 10 victories in 2014, with another 30 podium places. The team also brings on Belgian climber Yannick Eijseen (BMC Racing) while nine riders move on, including Kevin Seeldraeyers (to Torku), Laurens De Vreese (to Astana), Thomas Degand (to IAM Cycling), and Jempy Drucker (to BMC Racing).
Bourlart said the Belgian outfit, which finished second in the team classification on the European circuit, would also ask for wildcards from both the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
“We have a team ready to ride a grand tour in 2015,” he said. “I am sure that Wanty-Groupe Gobert is ready for this next step in its development.”