Seeldrayers has lifeline with Wanty Groupe Gobert team, verbal agreement in place
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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Seeldrayers has lifeline with Wanty Groupe Gobert team, verbal agreement in place

by VeloNation Press at 7:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Selvaggi signs contract, squad said to be full; Samuel Sanchez’ rumoured move won’t happen

Kevin SeeldraeyersLeft searching for a team after his contract with Astana was not extended, the Belgian rider Kevin Seeldraeyers has been linked to a move to the new Wanty Groupe Gobert team, with a verbal agreement in place.

Just over two weeks ago the 27 year old climber said that he was feeling despondent about the lack of offers. The market is saturated with riders after Vacansoleil DCM, Euskaltel Euskadi and several other teams folded. Seeldraeyers won two stages, took the points and mountains classifications and finished third overall in this year’s Tour of Austria, but was still left searching.

“I have a hopeless feeling. I can’t do anything, the only thing I can do is to wait and see,” he told Sporza then. “It makes training difficult. I’m sitting here constantly thinking about it.”

“Most teams are full but I hope there is still one that needs a rider. I don’t know why it is that some other riders still find a team at the last minute and I do not; I don’t get it.”

He said that he would continue training until January, but would be likely forced to quit cycling if he didn’t have something by then.

However, according to Het Laatste Nieuws, the new Belgian Wanty Groupe Gobert is interested and has a provisional agreement in place.

Team manager Hilaire Van der Schueren has put together the squad after his Vacansoleil DCM team folded and he has said that a move is likely. However he will wait until a signature is on paper before banking on it, having been burned by a recent declaration by a rider that he would compete for the team, but who then signed for the BMC Racing Team.

“The surprising last minute turn by Ben Hermans means that I remain a little cautious,” he said. “I have learned that a deal is never certain before a signature on paper. But basically nothing stands in the way of his [Seeldraeyers’] move.”

The Belgian rider spent five years with the Omega Pharma Quick Step team, netting the best young rider award in both the Giro d’Italia and Paris-Nice in 2009. He moved to Astana prior to the 2012 season. This year he took those good results in Austria, and was also second on day two plus eleventh overall in the Presidential Tour of Turkey. He was also third on a stage and second in the mountains classification at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Meanwhile the Italian Mirko Selvaggi has inked an agreement to compete with the team next season. He has been with Vacansoleil-DCM since 2010 and has therefore worked alongside van der Schueren already. He was fourth in this year’s Dwar Door Vlaanderen, and is seen as a likely Classics domestique.

Seeldraeyers and Selvaggi are likely to complete the team lineup for 2014, with the rumoured transfer of Samuel Sanchez to the team now looking like it won’t happen.

The 2008 Olympic champion had a quieter season than usual and was left stranded when the Euskaltel Euskadi squad stopped and the expected Fernando Alonso team did not go forward.


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