NXTG by Experza has secured new sponsorship from AG Insurance until 2025 today. The team with links to Quickstep Alpha Vinyl in Patrick Lefevere has aims to join the Women’s WorldTour in 2023 but also keep its U23 and Junior teams running alongside too. The team will be known as AG Insurance-NXTG with immediate effect, the team racing under its new name at Exterioo Classic Brugge-De Panne this week.
The team’s focus has always been on developing youth from the very beginning. With founder Natascha den Ouden confirming this approach. Patrick Lefevere joined the team in December, securing the Experza sponsorship for the early part of this season. He was clear at the time that the goal was to develop young riders rather than simply spending money on big-budget superstar riders.
“When we turned into an elite women’s team in 2019 after the year in the junior ranks, we continued to build on that basis. When you build a house, you don’t start with a roof but with the foundations, we aim to provide young female riders with a professional set-up where they can realise their dreams of being a professional cyclist. This dream started in 2019 with our first ever elite race at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and continues to grow every day and from tomorrow with AG Insurance and Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl by our side.”Natascha den Ouden, NXTG Founder
With this new sponsorship, AG Insurance-NXTG aims for its senior team to join the Women’s WorldTour in 2023. There is currently 1 space available for the WorldTour, with the quota of 15 teams nearly completely filled. There may be a battle between a number of teams for that final spot this off-season unless the UCI decides to expand it further. AG Insurance-NXTG won’t be ignoring their roots though. A clear pathway from their junior team, to their U23 team and to the senior team will be in place. Currently, the closest any other team has to this is Canyon SRAM with their WWT team and their Generation development team, plus GT Krush Tunap with their non-WWT senior team and development teams.
“As I have discussed when we first got involved with the NXTG team, we were looking to work with a women’s team, to help from the ground up and build real foundations, and the project of Natascha is the perfect fit. During my time in cycling, we have a track record of working with young riders and helping them to develop. We will apply the same philosophy with this team, giving young, talented riders a clear and sustainable progression path under the spirit, the culture and philosophy that leads the day-by-day operations of the Wolfpack.”Patrick Lefevere
AG Insurance has been visible in cycling for a while. They are previous sponsors of Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, so their first race being that particular one is a nice nod to their history in the sport. They have also been sponsors of national and regional cycling federations for 25 years.