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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, January 21, 2021

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Valerio Piva on being sports director of World Tour team Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux

Here’s the team’s post:

Valerio Piva was entrusted with the role of sports director of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux for its first year as a World Team, alongside Hilaire Van der Schueren, Steven De Neef, Frédéric Amorison, Jean-Marc Rossignon and Bart Wellens. The man from Lombardia displays an impressive CV, with similar experiences working with T-Mobile, HTC-Columbia, Katusha, BMC Racing and recently CCC. He brought his invaluable knowledge of racing to the riders currently in Alicante (Spain) for a pre-season training camp.

Team BMC

Team director Valerio Piva (far left) after the final stage of the 2016 Vuelta a España, where BMC had won the team classification. Sirotti photo

Valerio Piva:
"It is a new start for me, indeed, in a new team. What stroke me instantly is the cohesion and team spirit in Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. It almost feels like a family, something I have never experienced before. The core of the team has done an awful lot to get here, to earn the right to be at the start of the most prestigious races, alongside the strongest teams. They have worked extremely hard, and my main focus will be to benefit from that momentum and pursue the progress made."

"We have to understand that we work together with athletes, yes, but with human beings first and foremost. The most important thing is that they have to feel good where they are. Then, of course, the need to perform and win ought to give them that extra motivation for sure, but I am convinced that we can go further if the mind is fulfilled."

"I spoke with Aike Visbeek (Performance Manager) and Frederik Veuchelen (Trainer) who daily analyze the numbers the riders produce during tests and training. They are a testament of an excellent form overall, and the majority of them reached personal bests, which can only be a good sign ahead of the new season."

The first three races for Ag2r Citroën riders

The team sent me this provisional schedule:

François Bidard
GP La Marseillaise (31 January)
Tour de la Provence (11-14 February)
UAE Tour (21-27 February)

Geoffrey Bouchard
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (3-7 February)
Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia (12-13 February)
UAE Tour (21-27 February)

Lilian Calmejane
GP La Marseillaise (31 January)
Tour de la Provence (11-14 February)
Royal Bernard Drome Classic (27 February)

Clément Champoussin
Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var (19-21 February)
Royal Bernard Drome Classic (27 February)
Faun-Ardèche Classic (28 February)

Mikaël Cherel
The date of Mikaël Cherel’s return to racing will be communicated at a later date since he is still recovering from a broken collarbone that he sustained in a crash on November 24th.

Benoît Cosnefroy
Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var (19-21 February)
Royal Bernard Drome Classic (27 February)
Faun-Ardèche Classic (28 February)

Stan Dewulf (Bel)
Clasica de Almeria (14 February)
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (17-21 February)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (27 February)

Julien Duval
GP La Marseillaise (31 January)
Etoile de Bessèges (3-7 February)
Clasica de Almeria (14 February)

Mathias Frank (Sui)
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (3-7 February)
Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia (12-13 February)
Clasica de Almeria (14 February)

Tony Gallopin
GP La Marseillaise (31 January)
Tour de la Provence (11-14 February)
UAE TOUR (21-27 February)

Ben Gastauer (Lux)
GP La Marseillaise (31 January)
Etoile de Bessèges (3-7 February)
Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var (19-21 February).

Dorian Godon
Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var (19-21 February)
Royal Bernard Drome Classic (27 February)
Faun-Ardèche Classic (28 February)

Alexis Gougeard
Etoile de Bessèges (3-7 February)
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (17-21 February)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (27 February)

Jaakko Hänninen (Fin)
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (3-7 February)
Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia (12-13 February)
Clasica de Almeria (14 February)

Anthony Jullien
Etoile de Bessèges (3-7 February)
Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia (12-13 February)
Clasica de Almeria (14 February)

Bob Jungels (Lux)
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (17-21 February)
Royal Bernard Drome Classic (27 February)
Faun-Ardèche Classic (28 February)

Lawrence Naesen (Bel)
Etoile de Bessèges (3-7 February)
Clasica de Almeria (14 February)
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (17-21 February)

Oliver Naesen (Bel)
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (3-7 February)
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (17-21 February)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (27 February)

Ben O’Connor (Aus)
Tour de la Provence (11-14 February)
Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var (19-21 February)
Trofeo Laigueglia (3 March)

Aurélien Paret-Peintre
GP La Marseillaise (31 January)
Tour de la Provence (11-14 February)
Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var (19-21 February)

Nans Peters
Tour des Alpes-Maritimes et du Var (19-21 February)
Royal Bernard Drome Classic (27 February)
Faun-Ardèche Classic (28 February)

Nicolas Prodhomme
GP La Marseillaise (31 January)
Tour de la Provence (11-14 February)
UAE Tour (21-27 February)

Marc Sarreau
GP La Marseillaise (31 January)
Etoile de Bessèges (3-7 February)
Clasica de Almeria (14 February)

Michael Schär (Sui)
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (3-7 February)
Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia (12-13 February)
Clasica de Almeria (14 February)

Damien Touze
Etoile de Bessèges (3-7 February)
Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia (12-13 February)
Clasica de Almeria (14 February)

Greg Van Avermaet (Bel)
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (3-7 February)
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (17-21 February)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (27 February)

Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel)
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (3-7 February)
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (17-21 February)
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (27 February)

Andrea Vendrame (Ita)
Tour de la Provence (11-14 February)
UAE Tour (21-27 February)
Strade Bianche (6 March)

Clément Venturini
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (3-7 February)
Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol (17-21 February)
Royal Bernard Drome Classic (27 February)

Larry Warbasse (USA)
Etoile de Bessèges (3-7 February)
Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia (12-13 February)
Clasica de Almeria (14 February)

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