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"Tom Boonen already showed that he’s the leader in the sprint, but it will be a matter of surviving and being attentive during the crucial parts of the race."

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JENS DEBUSSCHERE

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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26.09.2016 @ 17:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Kevin De Weert, the coach of the Belgian national cycling team, has announced the official selection for the World Championships road race in Qatar which will be held on Sunday, October 16. The nine riders who will represent Belgium are: Tom Boonen, Jens Debusschere, Iljo Keisse, Jens Keukeleire, Nikolas Maes, Oliver Naesen, Jürgen Roelandts, Jasper Stuyven and Greg Van Avermaet.

 

Jens Debusschere will ride his first World Championships while it will be the fourth participation for Jürgen Roelandts. He already participated in Geelong 2010, Copenhagen 2011 (fifth place) and Valkenburg 2012.

 

Jürgen Roelandts said:

 

“I’m always happy if I’m part of the Belgian line-up. You just can’t say no to a World Championships road race, it’s always a special race. I think that the course in Qatar suits Jens and myself very well.

 

"The race offers two possible outcomes. If the wind isn’t present on the course, we might ride the easiest World Championships for several years. But when the wind blows as usual, we will get a very hard race. The temperature will also be an important factor as it is now 38 degrees in Qatar.

 

"If Tom Boonen is fully recovered from his crash in the Eneco Tour, he will be the leader for the sprint. But when necessary, also Jens can be the leader as he’s in great shape. We are part of this line-up because of our abilities and experiences in several sprints and sprint preparations. Every rider in this line-up can ride in echelons, we’re almost born with it. So we don’t mind if the race will be extremely hard.

 

"My hamstring injury healed really well the past few weeks so I’m more than ready for the World Championships.”

 

Jens Debusschere said:

 

“I was already hoping for a World Championships selection before this season because this course suits me really well. I trained very hard to be good during this period after my crash in the Tour de France. But I’m always good in the final part of the cycling season. The Tour of Britain and the Eneco Tour secured my good shape. The only thing I missed was a victory, although there are still a few opportunities to win a race.

 

"A lot of Belgian riders showed that they have good legs the past few weeks so the coach had to make some difficult decisions. Nevertheless, I think that I deserve this selection.

 

"In my opinion, this line-up must aim for a good result in Qatar. Tom Boonen already showed that he’s the leader in the sprint, but it will be a matter of surviving and being attentive during the crucial parts of the race. If Tom isn’t able to sprint due to a certain difficulty, I think that I’m a good alternative. But there a lot of sprinters who’ll aim for the victory such as Bouhanni, Ewan, Sagan, Kristoff and Greipel.”

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