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"I had a good chat with him. Klaas understood my choice. This non-selection does not mean the end of the world for him."

Photo: John de Jong




03.11.2015 @ 08:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Next Saturday, the professional men will do the European cyclo-cross championships for the first time. Belgian national coach Rudy De Bie has announced his selection of twelve riders. Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout won't be at the start in Huijbergen, just across the Dutch-Belgian border. De Bie: "He is not fit enough."



De Bie's selection includes the following riders:


Jens Adams

Tom Meeusen
Tim Merlier
Sven Nys
Kevin Pauwels
Rob Peeters
Diether Sweeck
Laurens Sweeck
Wout van Aert
Dieter Vanthourenhout
Michael Vanthourenhout
Gianni Vermeersch



Klaas Vantornoutis conspicuously absent from the selection. The Belgian champion is struggling with injuries after his crash in Zonhoven. This week Vantornout hopes to train again.


"A rider - and certainly a Belgian champion - can not participate in a European Championship when he is not in top condition. That would not be a cadeau," explained coach Rudy De Bie.


"It is he wiser for him to start on Sunday in Ruddervoorde. He has already won there (2013 ed.). Two races in one weekend is perhaps a little too ambitious."


De Bie explained the decision to Vantornout via a phone call. "I had a good chat with him. Klaas understood my choice. This non-selection does not mean the end of the world for him."



Last year the European Championships were a great success for the Belgian riders. Sanne Cant (women), Wout van Aert (U23 men) and Eli Iserbyt (juniors) won gold medals.


This year the elite men will fight for the European title too. The riders will face a diverse course in Huijbergen, with stretches of sand, forest trails and climbing passages.


"The course in Huijbergen is a bit similar to that in Zonhoven: lots of sand and lots of climbing," De Bie said.



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