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“It’s a team you can adjust to many different scenarios with,” Belgian national team coach Carlo Bomans said.

Photo: Unipublic / Graham Watson

BEN HERMANS

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GREG VAN AVERMAET

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JAN BAKELANTS

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JELLE VANENDERT

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JOHAN VAN SUMMEREN

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KRISTOF VANDEWALLE

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PHILIPPE GILBERT

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PIETER SERRY

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SEP VANMARCKE

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TIM WELLENS

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WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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15.09.2014 @ 22:13 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Belgian national team coach Carlo Bomans has announced the final selection for the upcoming World Championships in Ponferrada, impressing with a formidable nine-man squad made of classics specialists capable of wreaking true havoc in the colorful peloton.

 

Despite lining up at the start of the World Championships road race with such a stars of professional peloton as Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert, Greg van Avermeat or Sep Vanmarcke, the Belgian team will enter the race without appointed leaders. While Johan Vansummeren and Ben Hermans are only riders in the squad aware of their role in the event, other key tactical decisions are going to be made based on day’s disposition and development of the race.

 

“It’s a team you can adjust to many different scenarios with,” Bomans told Sporza.

 

“Since we do not have to control anything, we line-up with only two domestiques, Vansummeren and Hermans, instead of three such riders we has last year.”

 

Bomans made it clear that Belgians will be expected to become a part of strong breakaway with as many riders as possible, as their main task will be to avoid a bunch sprint from a big group in which they would have no one to compete with Simon Gerrans (Orica – GreenEDGE/ Australia) and John Degenkolb (Giant – Shimano/ Germany).

 

“I’m not looking forward to a bunch sprint. Should it happen and Tom [Boonen] still hangs on, he will receive proper support, but I can’t see how he could compete with Degenkolb or Gerrans.”

 

“In Spaniards and Italians, we may have allies not to let it happen. The key thing will be to drop Gerrans and Degenkolb, however, it has been made clear enough in previous Championships that you cannot simply ride away from everyone else. The will have strong teams built around them too.”

 

As the testy course in Ponferrada is tailor made for classics specialist, strong Belgian team has to be regarded one of the biggest favorites. Bomans claims, however, that they will enter the race without pressure as other teams will have to take responsibility for controlling happenings on the road.

 

“We are not favorites, we shouldn’t carry any responsibility.”

 

“I think we should join an early breakaway with as many Belgians as possible, we have riders who love that.. Van Avermeat, Vanmarcke, Wellens..”

 

“We have to hope that one of our riders will be on his great day, it’s essential in World Championships. You also need pure luck to go away with a victory, just like Rui Costa did last year.”

 

Full Belgian squad for the 2014 World Championships

Road race: Jan Bakelants, Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma – Quick Step), Philippe Gilbert, Ben Hermans, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), Jelle Vanendert, Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol), Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin Procycling), Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Sharp). 

 

Time trial: Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma – Quick Step) and Kristoff Vandewalle (Trek Factory Racing).

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