Between Christmas and New Year the team management of Veranda’s Willems-Crelan and STEVENS Vertriebs GmbH signed the new sponsorship agreement. Before Volker Dohrmann, Manager for Brand and Marketing at STEVENS and Veranda’s Willems-Crelan team manager Nick Nuyens had discussed the equipment requirements.
The team will be racing on STEVENS Xenon road bikes and STEVENS Super Trofeo time trial machines, all spec’d with Sram eTap shifting and Zipp carbon wheels. They will enter their first races in the end of January in France at the one-day race Grand Prix Cycliste la Marseillaise (UCI 1.1) and Etoile de Bessèges (UCI 2.1) stage race. The season will feature an ambitious race program the riders of Veranda’s Willems-Crelan want to use to showcase their abilities. Especially classics like E3-Harelbeke, Omloop het Nieuwsblad, Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix are main goals for the first half of the season.
In the second half the team also wants to participate in races in Germany like ”Fankfurt-Eschborn” and ”Rund um Köln” (Tour of Cologne). All in all it’s going to be many renowned races and many race days.
STEVENS General Manager Wolfgang von Hacht says: ”We are happily looking forward to this collaboration and to being present in such classics and monuments of cycling with Veranda’s Willems-Crelan.” Thanks to this commitment STEVENS Bikes will keep being visible in competitive cycling especially in the cycling nations Belgium and the Netherlands, even after cyclocross season has ended.
Already in its first training camp in Greece right at the beginning of the year, the team used STEVENS Xenon bikes. Team manager Nick Nyens, himself winner of the 2011 Tour of Flanders, praised the effort of the Hamburg-located bicycle manufacturer in the construction of Xenon road machines. ”STEVENS is well-respected in the professional cycling community. Our Sports Director Niels Albert, who became Cyclocross World Champion eight years ago on a STEVENS bike, gave the most positive feedback about the brand. We are really excited for the upcoming season together.”
The 16-strong team with riders mostly from Belgium features a wide variety of talents for different tasks. Wout van Aert, two-time cyclocross World Champion will have his season debut in the spring classics. After a successful and promising road program last year, van Aert will now focus on the early season classics.
Stijn Devolder, a two-time winner of the Tour of Flanders, will be a strong companion, who always wants to influence what’s happening in a race and knows exactly when the finale is on. With Sean de Bie and Zico Waeytens, Veranda’s Willems-Crelan introduces another two strong riders, whose best talent is the sprint.
Beginning in March the cyclo-crossers of team Crelan-Charles, ’cross World Champion Wout van Aert, Tim Merlier, Stan Godrie und Jappe Jaspers will join the road equipe. The Crelan-Charles Cyclocross-Team featuring female Elite riders Maud Kaptheijns and Loes Sels will, from March 2018 on, meaning for the 2018/19 season, also be outfitted by STEVENS Bikes.