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Aerts "formidable"

The Belgian team's riders stretching their legs

The Belgian team's riders stretching their legs
(Image credit: JF Quenet)

Belgian coach Carlo Bomans was pleased with his team's performance in the Olympic men's road race, even though his highest finisher was Mario Aerts. The 33-year-old was called in to replace Stijn Devolder on the team, and rode to an eighth place finish in his first Olympic Games.

"What a formidable performance from Mario Aerts! Actually I had never expected that he would do something like that here," Bomans gushed. "If you see who he had to compete against, then you can only admire him."

Looking at his other riders, Bomans told the belga news agency, "Maxime Monfort was just not good enough today, no more and no less. But he is still highly motivated for Wednesday's time trial."

"The other three have certainly done what we expected of them. Jurgen Van den Broeck and Johan Vansummeren both did what they had to do, and Christophe Brandt did well too today." Vansummeren went with a counterattack in the penultimate lap which fell victim to the relentless chase of the Spanish team, and finished 42nd. He and Aerts were the only two Belgians to complete the race. (SW)

(With additional editorial assistance from Susan Westemeyer.)