A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
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The Belgian team poses
De Waele rounds out nine-man roster
Belgian national coach Carlo Bomans has named the ninth rider to compete in the World Championships road race in Mendrisio, Switzerland, next week. Rounding out the nine-man team headed by Philippe Gilbert and Tom Boonen will be Bert De Waele, a Flemish rider of team Landbouwkrediet.
"We need a team and riders that can be present in the finale of the race," explained Bomans to La Dernière Heure. "Some solid teammates able to accompany Philippe Gilbert as long as possible. The circuit in Mendrisio is difficult, with two climbs. But it is short, too, and time for recovery will be reduced. We will even have to be very attentive as to what the riders eat and drink."
De Waeele was one of six riders that remained in contention for the final spot on the Worlds road race team. Dries Devenyns, Stijn Devolder, Serge Pauwels, Johan Vansummeren and Jurgen Van den Broeck did not make the cut and are now on the reserve list, though Devolder has ruled out any participation because of his initial non-selection.
De Waele showed his good form on Wednesday when he finished fourth in the GP Wallonnie, and can look back on a stage victory in the Tour of Belgium in May. Coach Bomans explained that Devolder's recent lack of results was the reason he left him at home.
"I have a lot of respect for his two victories of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, but it's not because you win the Ronde that you can come to the Worlds in return," he told Sporza. "The Ronde is in April, the Worlds are in September. Many people agree with me on that reasoning. It's a pity for him, but he just didn't show anything."
The final Belgian roster for the Worlds road race will be: Philippe Gilbert, Tom Boonen, Francis De Greef, Bert De Waele, Kevin De Weert, Maxime Monfort, Nick Nuyens, Greg Van Avermaet and Maarten Wijnants.
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