It is not new that the places designated for picking the World Cup on the road are very expensive in the Belgian camp. But this year the World Cup will be in their Flemish region and that makes it even more difficult for national coach Sven Vanthornhout to pick eight names. Besides Remco Evenepoel and Oliver Naesen, Greg Van Avermaet also wasn’t sure where he was. It does not belong to temporary certainty.
Two years ago, Greg van Avermaet (36) was the undisputed captain of the Belgian national team at the World Cup in Yorkshire. Since 2007, the racer – now with AG2R-Citroën – has also started every World Championship road race. Is this series coming to an end? It’s still a long way from that yet, but Van Avermaet will have to prove in the coming weeks that he is good enough to qualify for the remaining three or four spots in the eight-man national coach Vanthornhout’s selection.
Van Avermaet, who has had a mediocre season, but still finished third at the Tour of Flanders and scored points by taking the road race from Tokyo for Belgian team Van Avermaet isn’t alone, says Van Avermaet. Remco Evenepoel and Oliver Naesen in the same boat. He also told national coach Yves Lambert that he is being considered and is on the long list, but it has not yet been confirmed.
Vanthourenhout has already reported three to four passengers that they can sleep on their ears, if their shape is tolerable. This includes leader Wout van Aert Jasper Stuyven, winner of Milan Sanremo. Both are now in altitude training.
As for the other knights, it will be a matter of proving it in the coming weeks no escape be. Seb Vanmark, Jasper Philipsen and Nathan van Hooydonk – the main contender as a member of the Van Art team at Jumbo-Visma – try it out at the Vuelta. Lambert selects tours of Denmark, Germany and Great Britain.
Most riders choose the Benelux Tour: Van Avermaet, Niessen, Evenbühl, Tissgue Pinot, Philip Gilbert, Tim Wells, Dylan Tones, Dries de Bondt, Jasper de Boist, Edward Theuns and Brent van Muir. There is a good chance that the battle for the remaining places in the World Cup selection will be decided there.
Also Van der Paul on the Benelux tour
Matthew van der Poel will also appear at the start of the Benelux round (30/8 – 5/9). The Dutchman will be riding the MTB World Cup in Val de Sol on August 29 and wants to prepare himself by crossing the stage race on Belgian and Dutch soil to battle the Belgian bloc in the World Cup between Antwerp and Leuven. Tom Dumoulin, Alexei Lutsenko, Jacob Vogelsang, Sonny Colbrelli, Mate Mohoric and Alexander Kristof will ride on the Benelux Tour.
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