Stijn Devolder and Leif Hoste will represent Belgium in today's time trial. Devolder is eyeing the podium, while Hoste is not in great shape and has no ambitions in today's 43.7-kilometre race.
Even the start times are sort of indicating the reversed circumstances for the two Belgians. Hoste will set of very early, 13:16 (rider number nine to go). Devolder on the other hand starts 15th from last, at 14:26.
The selection of Hoste was a surprise to some, having expected Jurgen Van den Broeck instead. However, national coach Carlo Bomans explained his reasoning to Belgian news site actu24.be. "Van den Broeck has done nothing after his terrific seventh place in the Giro d'Italia. Conversely, Dominique Cornu didn't start showing stuff until just before August."
Cornu is off a good Vuelta, where he finished ninth in the first time trial and 19th in the mountain time trial. Then there was Sébastien Rosseler, but he wasn't interested. That left little choice for Bomans. "Who else could I have chosen, besides Hoste."
But Hoste himself expressed his doubts about his form to actu24.be. "After the Tour de France, I took too long of a break. With a top five, I'd be happy."
Devolder on the other hand showed more ambition. "Thanks to my victory in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, I didn't do much else this year to prove myself. Tuesday, I went over the course five times and I also checked out downtown. It is very pretty. Wide roads and long stretches ... it will be very fast. Perfect for me."