The Belgian selection for the upcoming cyclo-cross World Cup in Koksijde will not include one of the top-ranked riders of the grid: BKCP-Powerplus rider Dieter Vanthourenhout did not make the selection despite being tied with Sven Nys for sixth in the standings.
The 25-year-old was furious over coach Rudy De Bie's choices, which saw himself and cousin Sven Vanthourenhout omitted in favour of Telenet-Fidea riders Tom Meeusen and Rob Peeters. The pair completed the eight-man roster led by Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet), Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor), Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus), Bart Aernouts (Rabo-Giant) and Telenet-Fidea riders Bart Wellens and Kevin Pauwels.
Vanthourenhout complained bitterly to cyclo-cross.info for De Bie's choice to leave him out of the World Cup which takes place in his home region.
"Apparently Tom Meeusen himself can decide when and where he races the World Cup. 'Koksijde and Kalmthout' he said," Vanthourenhout said. "Well, then Meeusen may as well be named for [the World Cup in] Igorre next week. I don't feel like spending 800 euros on a trip to the Basque country only to be eliminated from the Kalmthout selection. My sixth place in the World Cup standings is gone anyhow."
"I've done a quick calculation and the non-selection cost me 10,000 euros. It makes me sick to think about it - I've never been so disappointed."
Vanthourenhout had a strong start to the season, regularly featuring in the top 10 of races, including a fifth in the World Cup opener in Aigle and a ninth place in Plzen.
But a bout of the flu and a spider bite put Vanthourenhout's performances back. After a difficult start to November, he claimed 10th at the GVA Trofee in Hasselt before backing out of the Superprestige in Gavere so as to not risk his full recovery.
"Dieter is not riding poorly," said his father Danny Vanthourenhout. "He had a good race in Hasselt, but did the coach notice?
"Two more riders from Telenet-Fidea, where [De Bie's] brother Danny is manager. That's no coincidence. It's a good thing Petr Dlask isn't Belgian or De Bie would have selected him," quipped Vanthourenhout.