Belgian World's selection: some opinions

After today's Paris-Brussels 1.HC classic won by Robbie McEwen, the Lotto-Davitamon riders expressed their point of view on Belgian national coach José De Cauwer's selection for the World Championships in Madrid, which is to be officially announced on Monday. The Australian winner didn't weigh his words at the finish.

"If the Belgian National coach watched the race today, he'll know he has to take more of our team to Madrid," McEwen said. "They know better than anyone else how to guide a sprinter to the finish line. And the Belgians do want Tom Boonen to become World Champion, no?" he happily asked.

His team-mate, Nico Mattan expressed his disappointment on not getting selected. After the finish of Paris-Brussels, Mattan told Belgian television, "We controlled the race. We put everything on a mass sprint, the whole team was tip-top today. Boonen knows that I can pull the sprint; but it's up to De Cauwer to make the selection. I've already given up the hope to get a spot - which I am convinced I deserve though."

Davitamon-Lotto team manager Marc Sergeant also spoke with media after the race. "Robbie was guided to the finish line in a seat today," he said. "Quick.Step was our alley in this race, as it was in everyone's benefit to work together. All the riders were eager to prove they were good enough to be selected for the World's. I think it's going to be a tough job for José De Cauwer to make the call. A whole bunch have showed today that they are ready."

But Sergeant also pointed out that some riders deserve a spot more than others. "There's a few names José can't pass: Van Petegem is one of them. Peter has been preparing for a long time for that race. He's been quiet but that's his style; to prepare in peace. But when Peter's presence is asked for, he's there, he was there in Flanders and he was here again today. Peter brought McEwen "in a couch" to the line. At the World's Peter will indeed ride in a Belgian jersey, but let's face it, if it is a mass sprint, Peter can work for both."

Courtesy of Sabine Sunderland

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