"I'm not a 100 percent satisfied, but let's say 98 percent," Tom Boonen gave his opinion to Het Laatste Nieuws about the Belgian team selection for the World Championships. "I would have liked to have Rik Verbrugghe there; in the Vuelta he chose to finish in the bus for three days because he wants to save himself for two other stages. De Cauwer interpreted that wrongly; Verbrugghe's still in very good shape.
"To have five of my team mates would have been an exaggeration, but two is not enough really. The problem is that Kevin Hulsmans' form is improving daily, but the WC comes too early for him. And about Kevin De Weert, you can say a few things too, but anyway, I'm not going to bring the selection into discredit. It is what it is.
"I would take the experienced Peter Van Petegem as my last locomotive, rather than Philippe Gilbert. To set up a train will be very difficult. In the last corner I need two men there. I was consulted by De Cauwer very late in the selection process. That could have been better indeed, but I'm happy that he made the decision. I could have beaten my fist on the table, but that's just not how I am."
Davitamon-Lotto's Marc Sergeant said doesn't want any further discussion about the selection. "Of course I would prefer to see Van Petegem become world champion, but I'd be more than happy with McEwen too," Sergeant told Het Nieuwsblad. "But Boonen's OK also. Rather Tom than an Italian or Spanish rider. I mean that and I stick to that statement.
"A National coach has to be smart enough to avoid hurting anyone and still keep the sponsors in mind (Davitamon also sponsors the Belgian Federation). The sponsor pays the team for a whole year and backs a team. With something like that all-important rainbow jersey in mind, that of course plays in the rider's head too. You can't let them ride against each other fair and square. That's the skill of a good national coach: he has to draw the line very carefully.
"In Zolder all the Italians rode for Mario Cipollini. I think that everyone contributing to that success gets satisfaction out of it."