PROFESSIONALS | 09/19/2023 | 08:18
by Francesca Monzone
The rumors of the past few weeks, which saw the Intermarché-Circus-Wanty in economic difficulty, were definitively denied by Jean-François Bourlart, number one of the Belgian team, which guaranteed the good health of the team and the continuation of the activity.
Bourlart admitted that he had had some liquidity problems in recent months and that this caused it a slight delay in the payment of salariesbut the Belgian explained that he has recovered and that for the 2024 season he already has 24 riders under contract.
«We had delays in payments due to some sponsors – Boulart specified to the Walloon newspaper DH. – We have a very special and unique economic system: we have more than a hundred sponsors and not just three big names who pay for everything in January, March and June. For us the contributions are spread over the whole year because our business club (Want You Club, ed.) is structured like this. We also arrived a little late because we are a company that has been growing and expanding for years. The move to the World Tour in 2021 required significant investments: the World Tour is expensive but we have managed to keep up within our means. True, we had a small delay in cash flow but we have no budget problems. The future of the team is assured. We will announce the renewal of several sponsors in the coming days.”
Some riders will leave the team, while others will be reconfirmed. Sven Erik Byström will race with Groupama, while Laurens Huys will wear the Arkéa jersey and Niccolo Bonifazio will move to Corratec. While there is no precise information for five other riders: they are Rui Costa, Aimé De Gendt, Julius Johansen, Louis Meintjes and Loïc Vliegen. Also in this case Jean-François Bourlart intervened in a clear and calm manner.
“With regard to Meintjes, he will stay with us and it will soon be made official, for the others a discussion is still open. There are still quite a few runners on the market and that’s why we are waiting. We are busy putting together next year’s budget. Compared to other years we are even quite ahead because we already have 24 riders under contract. We are stabilizing the whole team, almost everyone is under contract and this is a very positive thing.”
Intermarché Curcus Wanty has also started a program to search for young talents, demonstrating that the team is looking to the future carefully. «We are adding three new guys to the team. We decided to focus on young people and two come from our development team, it’s about Francesco Busatto and Roel van Sintmaartensdijkwhile the third, Vito Braet comes from Team Flanders Baloise. In short, I don’t see any worries for the future.”
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