Philippe Gilbert will look to add the title of world champion to his palmares. The world's number one ranked rider will lead the Belgian team at the world championships in Copenhagen next week, it was announced Monday afternoon.
Former world champion Tom Boonen was not named to the team. The Quick Step rider broke the scaphoid in his left hand a week ago, and although he had hoped to be able to ride, he was not optimistic about his chances.
After meeting with Boonen over the weekend, national coach Carlo Bomans said: “We agreed that it made no sense for him to go to Copenhagen. He still had pain, and could not even ride on the rollers this week, and so couldn't train on the road. A selection was therefore pointless.”
Gilbert will be supported by Omega Pharma-Lotto teammates Jürgen Roelandts, Olivier Kaisen and Klaas Lodewyck, as well as Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Cervelo), Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), Kevin De Weert (Quickstep) and Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM).
On Friday, Gilbert win the GP Cycliste de Quebec, his 17th victory of the year, to regain the title of number one in the UCI's world ranking. His achievements this year include the so-called Ardennes triple of Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the opening stage of the Tour de France, and both the road and time trial national titles.
Belgian team for the World Championships:
Elite men road: Kevin De Weert, Philippe Gilbert, Olivier Kaisen, Björn Leukemans, Klaas Lodewyck, Nick Nuyens, Jurgen Roelandts, Greg Van Avermaet, Johan Vansummeren (reserves: Jan Bakelants, Thomas De Gendt, Nikolas Maes, Jurgen Van de Walle, Sep Vanmarcke)