Doing it the QuickStep way: Belgium's multi-pronged approach to the World Championships

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Having long dictated the terms of engagement in Belgian one-day races, it was perhaps only to be expected that Deceuninck-QuickStep would eventually serve as a template for the Belgian national team. While other countries are building their plans for the World Championships elite men's road race around a sole leader, the power of Rik Verbrugghe's Belgian selection appears to lie in its collective.

By dint of their exploits this season, Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) and Julian Alaphilippe (France) top the list of favourites for the Yorkshire Worlds, while the track record of reigning champion Alejandro Valverde (Spain) and three-time winner Peter Sagan (Slovakia) means they will inevitably be factors once again. All four will be backed without question by their national teams on September 29.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.