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Controversial Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl boss Patrick Lefevere today confirmed his commitment to growing women’s cycling, as his team partners with NXTG by Experza.

The Dutch women’s team also announced the addition of AG Insurance as title sponsor, with the team now known as AG Insurance-NXTG. The team’s first race in its new livery will take place on Thursday at the World Tour Classic Brugge-De Panne.

Lefevere, who infamously denounced women’s cycling as a charity case last September, confirmed her support for the NXTG team in December when her recruiting agency Experza was brought in as a sponsor.

The team, which until now had focused on developing young riders, hopes to move on to the World Tour for 2023 and will be part of an expanded team structure based around the Quick Step men’s team.

Recent reports in the Belgian media suggest that the Tormans cyclocross team, home to junior world champion Zoe Bäckstedt, will also come under the Quick Step umbrella as a continental feeder team in the near future.

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NXTG Director and Founder Natascha den Ouden today outlined her vision for the team under the new setup.

“When we became an elite women’s team in 2019 after the U19 year, we continued to build on that foundation. When you build a house, you don’t start with a roof but with the foundation,” he said. she declared.

“Our goal is to provide young female cyclists with a professional setup where they can fulfill their dreams of becoming professional cyclists.

“This dream started in 2019 with our very first elite race at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and continues to grow every day and starting tomorrow with AG Insurance and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl by our side.

“Our philosophy is to work on developing the next generation, the foundations, in women’s cycling. We are firmly committed to creating a successful and sustainable sport with the strong support of AG Insurance.

Speaking at the press event, Lefevere added: “As I said when we first got involved with the NXTG team, we were looking to work with a female team, to help from from scratch and build real foundations, and Natascha’s project is the perfect solution.

“During my time in cycling, we are used to working with young riders and helping them develop. We will apply the same philosophy with this team, giving talented young racers a clear and sustainable path of progression under the spirit, culture and philosophy that drives the day-to-day operations of the Wolfpack.

“This is a unique project in women’s cycling, and we are very happy that AG Insurance shares our vision and we look forward to seeing our athletes and the team progress.”

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