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Boonen, Gilbert lead Belgium in World Championship road race

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Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Philippe Gilbert (BMC)

Philippe Gilbert (BMC) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

Belgium will send a strong team to the world championships in Ponferrada, led by former world champions Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert. Pieter Serry and Kristoff Vandewalle will represent the country in the time trial.

The nine for the road race are: Boonen, Gilbert, Jan Bakelants, Ben Hermans, Greg Van Avermaet, Jelle Vanendert, Sep Vanmarcke, Johan Vansummeren and Tim Wellens. The reserve riders are Jens Keukeleire, Gianni Meersman, Maxime Monfort, Pieter Serry and Jasper Stuyven.

Boonen, 33, won the Worlds title in 2005 in Madrid. He most recently rode the Vuelta a España, finishing second on the 12th stage. He abandoned the race ahead of stage 18 to prepare for the Worlds.

Gilbert won the title in 2012 in Valkenburg. He, too, rode the Vuelta, and his season highlight was winning the Amstel Gold Race. The two Classics specialists are expected to do well on the Spanish course, which features a total of 4200 climbing meters.

Belgian squad for the 2014 World Championship

Elite Men:

Jan Bakelants, Tom Boonen, Philippe Gilbert, Ben Hermans, Greg Van Avermaet, Jelle Vanendert, Sep Vanmarcke, Johan Vansummeren, Tim Wellens. Time trial: Pieter Serry and Kristoff Vandewalle.

Elite women:

Jessie Dams, Sofie De Buyst, Kelly Druyts, Ann-Sophie Duyck, Maaike Polspoel, Annelies Van Doorslaer

U-23 Men:

Tiesj Benoot, Jasper De Buyst, Floris De Tier, Frederik Frison, Ruben Pols, Dylan Teuns, Kenneth Van Rooy. Loic Vliegen

Junior Men:

Steff Cras, Ward Jaspers. Senne Leysen, Martin Palm, Emiel Planckaert, Jordi Warlop

Junior Women:

Fien Delbaere, Lenny Druyts, Eva Marie Palm, Saartje Vandenbroucke