The Belgian Cycling Federation has named experienced and versatile squads for the early-August UEC Road European Championships in Herning, Denmark. The championships are to be held August 2-6.
The men's road team, for the 241.2km course over 12-laps in Herning, features several riders with a fast kick for a bunch kick. Jens Debusschere (Lotto-Soudal) and Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott) are the two fastest riders selected in the team and will be backed by seven strong teammates.
From Lotto Soudal, Jasper De Buyst, Nikolas Maes and Jelle Wallays are selected with Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Bert Van Lerberghe (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Maarten Wynants (LottoNL-Jumbo), and Iljo Keisse (QuickStep-Floors) completing the squad.
LottoNL-Jumbo's Victor Campenaerts and Baptiste Planckaert (Katusha-Alpecin) are the two reserves for the road team.
Philippe Gilbert was the best placed Belgian at the 2016 championships in Plumelec, France but has not been selected due to the flat parcours. Keukeleire is the only rider from 2016 to earn selection for the Herning championships.
Campenaerts and Belgian national champion Yves Lampaert (QuickStep-Floors) are the two chosen riders for the 46km time trial. Campenaerts was the silver medallist last year to Jonathan Castroviejo.
The women's squad will be lead by Jolien D'hoore (Wiggle-High5) who is already enjoying her most successful season to date. The 27-year-old will be supported by 'cross star Sanne Cant, Kim De Baat and Kaat Hannes (Lensworld-Kuota), Jessy Druyts and Valerie Demey (Sport Vlaanderen-Guill D'or), Ann-Sophie Duyck (Drops), and Sarah Inghelbrecht (Lares-Waowdeals). The two reserves are Annelies Dom (Lotto Soudal Ladies) and Kelly Druyts (Sport Vlaanderen-Guill D'or).
Demey was the best-placed rider in last year's race, placing 35th at 43 seconds to Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands.
Ann-Sophie Duyck will represent Belgium in the 31.5km time trial.