Carlo Bomans, Belgian national coach, is still to finalise his team for the UCI Road World Championships in Florence until September 29. With Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) already ruled out, things have gone from bad to worse for Bomans following the crashes of Kevin de Weert (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) and Bart de Clercq (Lotto Belisol) at the Vuelta a España.
Current President of the Belgium Cycling Federation, Tom Van Damme, has already come out stating that he believes the current predicament for the cycling superpower is a result of poor supervision of -and a lack of ambition from- Belgian riders.
Troubles for the Belgian squad started with the season-ending injury to Van den Broeck and were soon followed by the Ben Hermans incident at the Tour of Poland. With just seven riders to play from, Bomans' selection headaches soon turned to a migraine with Boonen, de Weert and de Clercq now all out of contention.
"The fall of De Weert was a severe setback. Kevin is a loyal, and conscientious hard worker. I'm going to miss him," the Belgian coach told Sporza.
This leaves Bomans with the question of which riders remain as the best candidates to help reigning World Champion, Pillippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team), defend his title. Bomans is clear in stating the he wants "the seven best riders available" and that "there is no room for just domestiques," because he needs riders to still be there when the race reaches its finale.
Bomans did not say if Gilbert would have sole leadership, but he does believe that the defending champion has impressed him with his results and attitude at the Vuelta. Without wanting to overstate their chances, Bomans believes the Belgian team can have "healthy ambitions at Florence."