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“We will be able to provide Belgium with a world champion. We will enter the race with different approach this time. We won’t line up at the start with one leader but several riders to play the finale with," Vanmarcke said.

Photo: Sirotti








17.09.2014 @ 19:03 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Even though the Belgian national team will line up at the start of the World Championships road race without the appointed leader, their coach Carlo Bomans certainly expects in-form Grag van Avermaet and Sep Vanmarcke to shine on a course perfectly suited to classics specialists.


As he has stated in the interview published shortly after the final selection had been announced, only two domestiques made the final cut as Bomans expects his team to ride aggressively and join strong breakaway with as many riders, as possible.


With his latest victory in the GP de Wallonnie and boundless desire to ride at the front, Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing) certainly appears to be a right man for the job.


“I made a huge step forward in the classics last few years,” van Avermaet told Het Laatste Nieuws. “I have proved that I’m able to handle a pressure which comes with being a leader and the team can count on me.”


“This is a very strong selection and so we can play with several different cards. We’re not the top favorite, but it could only play to out advantage. Holding back pure sprinters will be the most difficult task. If we manage that, then we might have a good chance.”


Even though the selection of Ben Hermans was regarded quite controversial, van Avermaet claimed to be pleased to have his team-mate from BMC by his side.


“It’s nice that Ben will be there, it’s always easier to work with someone you know and trust. But I had nothing to say in regards to team selection, it has been Boman’s choice.”


Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin Procycling) is another rider theoretically well suited to the hilly course in Ponferrada and the 26-year old Belgian claimed to be confident ahead of the road race.


“The World Championship [road race] is a one-day race and that is what suits my strengths best,” Belkin rider told Het Laatste Nieuws.


“All my results obtained this year prove it, as I was in contention in every event of this kind I participated in.”


“It was my worst result in one-day event this year,” Vanmarcke commented on his 16 spot claimed in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal last weekend. “But it was mainly due to an awkward finish. On a flatter finish, like the one we have in Ponferrada, I am always closer. I ride better and better what gives us confidence.”


“We will be able to provide Belgium with a world champion in Spain. We will enter the race with different approach than in previous years, though. We won’t line up at the start with one leader but several riders to play the finale with.”


Choosing Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp) and Ben Hermans instead of in-form Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma – Quick Step) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek Factory Racing) raised biggest controversies, but both riders seemed to accept it.


“Obviously, I’m disappointed,” Meersman said. “But I’m convinced it had nothing to do with my results.”


“But it’s not like I cannot sleep at night because of that, there are worse things in life. I respect the choice made by the coach. I wish them all the best and hope they will win the title.”


Stuyven amazed the world of cycling with his latest appearance in the Vuelta a Espana. The 22-year old Belgian hasn’t managed to claim his first professional victory yet, but finished no less than 7 stages within the top ten. Despite his brilliant disposition young rider understood Bomans’ decision as the course is not perfectly suited to his characteristics.


“He [Bomans] called me last Sunday and I took his explanation,” 22-year old Belgian said. “He told me that the course was not really my cup of tea and that I’m too good to ride in a supporting role.”



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