The men's Belgian team for Salzburg was also announced Monday, consisting of Tom Boonen (QuickStep-Innergetic), Nick Nuyens (QuickStep-Innergetic), Philippe Gilbert (Française des Jeux), Stijn Devolder (Discovery Channel), Johan Vansummeren (Davitamon-Lotto), Kevin Hulsmans (QuickStep-Innergetic), Leif Hoste (Discovery Channel), Serge Baguet (QuickStep-Innergetic), Jurgen Van Goolen (Discovery Channel). National coach Carlo Bomans has stated that defending champion Tom Boonen will play a "trump card role" in this year's event as the undulating course will be more suited to the likes of Nick Nuyens and Philippe Gilbert.
The Belgian outfit will arrive in Salzburg on Thursday to familiarize themselves with the course. From there they will have a better idea on who will lead the team on Sunday's road race.
"I'm extremely happy with the Belgian team formation for the World Championship, the team is a very strong and balanced," said the reigning champ Tom Boonen. "Six of the selected are of the same generation, we have known each other since we were children. The others three, Baguet, Hoste and Hulsmans, are riders with a lot of experience. We've got athletes suited to all types of race styles, a great mix. This year's race route is more difficult than last year's, so it will be important to have team mates around during the final kilometres in order to take charge and control the situation if and when required.
"With regard to my team mates, Baguet, with his experience, could be the 'eyes' of our coach Carlo Bomans in the race. Hulsmans is riding the Vuelta extremely well and is improving daily. Nuyens is a rider that we all know, he's a first class athlete and I'm sure he'll be in the final."