Belgians miss top U23s

The Belgian team is regretting its selection for the U23 men's road race on Saturday, with officials not being aware of the rules regarding selection of professionals. The team includes Nic Ingels, Pieter Jacobs, Gianni Meersman, Greg Van Avermaet, and Evert Verbist, none of whom ride for a professional squad. But the rules state the professionals are allowed, so long as they don't ride for a ProTour team.

"If I'd known, then I would have taken Maxime Monfort from Landbouwkrediet with us to Madrid," said selector Jose De Cauwer. "You can think about that! Someone who was just fourth in the Tour de l'Avenir could have ridden here among the espoirs."

The Italians have no such problems, with Team LPR's Mauro Santambrogio making the selection. "The rules change was made halfway through January," said Belgium's Freddy Van Steen. "The real problem is that the new rules weren't explicitly reported. It's up to you to fish them out from the UCI website, where changes are reported. Therefore you have to get through a mass of pages. And in this case, there was just one word next to the old regulations: out of date. Well..."

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