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How deep is the Belgian world championship team?
Former world champ Philippe Gilbert and former Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet were among those left off the Belgian elite men’s worlds selection, revealed Monday by national federation officials.
“We have indeed had to make some difficult decisions and I have had to disappoint the riders,” national coach Sven Vanthourenhout told Het Nieuwsblad. “I had to disappoint more than I selected. I was even able to select a second team that would be good: Naesen, Van Avermaet, Gilbert. I never thought I would have to disappoint those riders.”
Supporting van Aert will be Remco Evenepoel, Tiesj Benoot, Victor Campenaerts, Tim Declercq, Yves Lampaert, Jasper Stuyven and Dylan Teuns. Gilbert, Tim Merlier, Van Avermaet, Gianni Vermeersch and Tim Wellens are listed as reserves.
Kopecky will see support from Jolien D’Hoore, Shari Bossuyt, Kim de Baat, Valerie Demey, and Jesse Vandenbulcke. Sanne Cant, Julie De Wilde, and Lone Meertens will be reserves.
Julie Van de Velde will race the women’s time trial, while van Aert and Evenepoel will start for the men.
Mathieu van der Poel to return to racing
Nagging back problems kept the Dutch star out of the mountain world championships as well as the Benelux Tour. Following a week of solid training, team officials said he’s ready to get back to action.
Also read: Van der Poel extends with Alpecin-Fenix
Expectation remains high that Van der Poel will be able to race the road world championships on September 26 in Belgium, and Paris-Roubaix the following weekend.
Officials said his calendar will be updated following his sensations in the race this weekend.
Update: @mathieuvdpoel has been training stable for about a week now. He will resume racing on Sunday at the Antwerp Port Epic, after which an interim evaluation will be made with regard to his schedule for the rest of the season. pic.twitter.com/D9MOtTO1pl
— Alpecin-Fenix Cycling Team (@AlpecinFenix) September 6, 2021