Wietse Bosmans (BKCP-Powerplus) has been handed the final slot on the Belgian team for next weekend’s cyclo-cross world championships ahead of two-time former rainbow jersey Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea).
National coach Rudy De Bie had already named six of the seven-man team last week, but decided to delay deciding on the last berth until after Sunday’s final round of the World Cup in Nommay.
The 22-year-old Bosmans’ seventh place finish in Nommay was enough to secure his ticket for Hoogerheide next weekend, as Wellens could only manage 20th, while the other contender, Bart Aernouts (AA Drink), finished in ninth place.
“I put in a huge amount of work to get this result,” Bosmans said on learning of his selection for the Belgian Worlds team, according to RTBF.
The veteran Wellens was disappointed that his third-place finish at the Belgian championships in Waregem was not enough to secure a place on the Worlds team, although he accepted that he had not performed well enough in Nommay.
“Very disappointed! Nommay was not good enough, sorry,” Wellens wrote on Twitter, later adding: “Above all I’m disappointed with myself, not the selection. I fell short at an important moment.”
Nommay World Cup winner Tom Meeusen was among the six riders already named to Rudy De Bie’s Belgian team last week. The line-up also includes Niels Albert, Kevin Pauwels, Klaas Vantornout, Rob Peeters and reigning world champion, Sven Nys.
Van der Haar leads Dutch challenge
The Dutch squad for next Sunday’s race was also announced on Monday morning, with World Cup overall winner Lars van der Haar leading the home challenge next weekend. Van der Haar is joined in the team by Thijs van Amerongen, Corne van Kessel, Niels Wubben, Thijs Al and Eddy van Ijzendoorn.
“My goal is to finish on the podium, and I always say that if you can finish on the podium then you also have a chance to win,” Van der Haar told NOS of his chances at home next weekend.
Reigning world champion Marianne Vos leads the Dutch women’s team, which also features Sophie de Boer, Annefleur Kalvenhaar, Sabrina Stultiens, Thalita de Jong and Yara Kastelijn.
The under 23 team is led by World Cup winner Mathieu van der Poel. The youngster is in his first year at under 23 level after winning the junior cyclo-cross world title in 2012 and 2013, as well as the junior road title in Florence last September. His older brother David is also in the Dutch squad.
The cyclo-cross Worlds begin on Saturday with the junior men’s and elite women’s races, while the under 23 men’s and elite men’s races take place the following day.