cycling news / Tom Wirtgen joins AGO-Aqua Protect for 2018
YOUNG LUXEMBOURGER TOM WIRTGEN LEAVES LEOPARD PRO CYCLING AND JOINS THE BELGIAN AGO-AQUA PROTECT TEAM AS OF THE 2018 SEASON. AT THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM OF THE WB VERANCLASSIC UCI PRO CONTINENTAL TEAM, THE 21-YEAR-OLD COMES CLOSER TO HIS GOAL OF BECOMING A PRO RIDER.
“I am thankful for Leopard as they developed me as a rider in the past three years”
Tom Wirtgen joined Leopard in 2015 as double junior national time trial champion. The Luxembourger immediately showed his solid potential by strong performances at the National, European and World Championships which was also noticed by the Quick Step team who invited him to one of their team training camps.
The 2016 season should have been the confirmation year, however things didn’t go according to plan. Although Tom finished third in the time trial of the highly rated Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux, an injury caused by a nasty crash at the GP Criquielion made that Tom was not able to show what he was capable of.
After working hard and lots of dedication by both Tom and Leopard, the 2017 season was a very solid one. At the same Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux time trial, Tom just missed out on the win and at the Skoda-Tour de Luxembourg he wore the leaders jersey of the mountains classification for one day. After becoming U23 National Time Trial Champion for the second time, Tom topped of his season with an amazing fourth position at the U23 World Time Trial Championships. A result that will definitely pay off in the upcoming season.
Tom Wirtgen: “I am happy to join AGO-Aqua Protect – the development team of the WB Veranclassic Pro Continental Team – in 2018, where they have solid long term goals for me. I am thankful for Leopard as they developed me as a rider in the past three years and I really felt at home in this team. It was a hard decision, especially as I had the chance to ride with my brother, but I want to take my career step by step and therefore for me the move to AGO is a logical one.”
Markus Zingen: “We are looking back to a good cooperation with Tom in the past three seasons at Leopard. Especially 2016 was not an easy year for him with a crash and the following injury. He and the team worked hard to get back to a good level and this brought us some good results this season. We would have loved to also work with Tom in 2018 as his development is not yet finished. However, we understand that the market nowadays is not easy for young riders and this move makes his chances of becoming a pro rider bigger. Of course, we wish Tom all the best.”