What's Cool In Road Cycling

Tiesj Benoot in Belgian squad; probably nine Lotto Soudal riders in road race Richmond

Less than three weeks before the World Championships in Richmond (USA) the selections are being announced. Lotto Soudal will presumably have nine riders at the start of the road race for pros. Today Belgian federal coach Carlo Bomans selected Tiesj Benoot. Unfortunately Jürgen Roelandts and Jens Debusschere weren’t selected. They are on the standby list, just like Tosh Van der Sande. Lars Bak, Vegard Breen, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Greg Henderson, Pim Ligthart and Marcel Sieberg are all likely to be part of their national team.

Jurgen Van den Broeck will take the start in the elite time trial. Jessie Daams and Anisha Vekemans are selected for the women’s elite team, Laurens De Plus and Kenneth Van Rooy are part of the U23 team, Fenna Vanhoutte will take part in the women’s junior race.

Tiesj Benoot: “I’m not completely surprised. I had hoped my performances of the past months in combination with the course would be enough to convince the coach. During a meeting in April the riders who could be part of the selection already got to see images of the course, and then I knew it would be my cup of tea. The big question is if there will be a sprint of a reduced peloton. In any situation I could play a role. Of course we have some strong leaders, but in a selection you also need riders who can start up the battle. I’m made for that I think. The fact that I’m the only Lotto Soudal rider in the selection? That surprised me as well.”

Jürgen Roelandts: “Of course I’m disappointed that I’m not selected. When I look at the team, I think it’s mainly built around Tom Boonen, with three riders of his team in support. The coach seems to gamble on a sprint, but also then I could have been a very good lead-out. But he sees it differently and I have to live with that. In the past I proved I am good in that kind of races, when you take a look at my results. On the other hand, when I see what has happened to Kris Boeckmans, you can sooner get over a non-selection. I have thought about my own injuries. Both situations couldn’t be compared, but also then at least my cycling career was hanging by a thread. Now I leave for Canada. Half of August I had some stomach problems for a day or ten, but in Plouay I was fifth, which shows the condition keeps getting better.”

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