Vanendert remains on the sidelines
Stijn Vandenbergh has been forced to withdraw from the Belgian squad for the world championships due to a knee injury. He will be replaced by his Omega Pharma-QuickStep trade teammate Dries Devenyns.
It is the second time this season that Vandenbergh has been forced out of a major event due to injury, after he had to pull out of the Tour de France on the eve of the race due to a saddle sore.
"It's a sad moment for me because it was a great season so far," Vandenbergh said. "The Worlds is one of the biggest events and I was looking forward to helping the team get a good result but now I can't do it. It's a hard moment, but when you ride for your country you have to be 100 percent, which is not the case now.
“We made this decision in agreement with Omega Pharma-QuickStep medical staff and Belgian national team coach Carlo Bomans. I hope to recover as best as possible to return to competition as soon as I can.”
For Devenyns, Valkenburg will mark his first appearance in the world championships at elite level. The 29-year-old competed at the GP de Québec and GP de Montréal in Canada last weekend and will also line up at the GP Impanis – Van Petegem before travelling to Limburg.
"I'm happy to be selected for Worlds," Devenyns said. "It's a big goal. I want to do well on this course, it’s good for me, so I think I can give a good contribution to the team.
“Life is strange because I’m taking the place of Stijn, who is my teammate but also a friend. I am sad for him and hope he can recover well.”
Devenyns gets the nod for the Belgian team ahead of Jelle Vanendert (Lotto Belisol), who had already expressed his dismay at being named as a reserve for the Worlds. Vanendert finished second at Amstel Gold Race in April, a race which, like the Worlds, features the climbs of the Bemelerberg and Cauberg.
- World championships