Belgian national coach Rudy de Bie has made his choice of riders to represent their country at the Cyclo-cross World Championships next week, choosing the top eight Belgian riders from the UCI rankings to try to extend the country's six year winning streak in Treviso.
Leading the team from the heart of cyclo-cross will be outgoing World Champion Erwin Vervecken along with the obvious choices of UCI leader Sven Nys (2005 world champion), number two ranked Bart Wellens (2003-2004 champion) and number three Klaas Vantornout. The latter sustained injuries in a car accident prior to the World Cup in Liévin last weekend, but is hoping to recover in time for the January 27 championship race.
Also included in the Belgian squad are cousins Sven and Dieter Vanthourenhout, ranked 9th and 22nd, respectively. They are joined by Bart Aernouts, winner of the C1 race in Huybergen, and Kevin Pauwels, ranked 16th in the world.
Left hoping for a spot as a substitute are 47th ranked Jan Verstraeten and Rob Peeters, winner of the GP Sint Niklaas, who is ranked 24th.
The U23 team will be led by UCI leader Niels Albert, 13th ranked Tom Meeusen, Quentin Bertholet (22nd) and Wim Leemans (20th) with 16th ranked Vincent Baestaens and Stijn Huys (23rd) in reserves.
The women's team will be led by the young phenom Sanne Cant, who is ranked 8th by the UCI, with Loes Sels (26th), Katrien Pauwels (18th) and Veerle Ingels (14th).
Elite Men: Erwin Vervecken (Fidea), Sven Nys (Rabobank), Bart Wellens (Fidea), Klaas Vantornout (Fidea), Dieter Vanthourenhout (Palmans-Cras), Bart Aernouts (Rabobank), Sven Vanthourenhout (Sunweb - Pro Job), Kevin Pauwels (Fidea), Reserves: Jan Verstraeten (Sunweb - Pro Job), Rob Peeters (Landbouwkrediet).
U23: Joeri Adams, Niels Albert, Quentin Bertholet, Wim Leemans, Tom Meeusen. Reserves: Vincent Baestaens, Stijn Huys.
Women Sanne Cant, Veerle Ingels, Katrien Pauwels, Loes Sels.
Juniors Stef Boden, Wietse Bosmans, Matthias Bossuyt, Sean De Bie, Simon Geets. Reserves: Gerry Druyts, Dany Lacroix.