Wellens needs to cede leader’s jersey in BinckBank Tour closing stage
Wellens has to settle with third place in the overall standings.
Federal coach Kevin De Weert has officially announced the Belgian line-up for the World Championships in Innsbruck. Lotto Soudal riders Tiesj Benoot and Tim Wellens will both be taking part in the road race on Sunday 30 September, while Victor Campenaerts will ride the time trial on Wednesday 26 September.
The Belgian national team for the men elite road race consists of eight riders. Benoot and Wellens are in a team with Laurens De Plus, Ben Hermans, Xandro Meurisse, Serge Pauwels, Dylan Teuns and Greg Van Avermaet.
Tim Wellens: “We go to Austria with four leaders. In theory I am the one who can wait the longest. Tiesj Benoot and Dylan Teuns can attack earlier in the finale. And we also have Greg Van Avermaet up our sleeve. With this quartet we have a strong line-up to be able to play along in the finale. The other four riders will definitely play their role in the run-up to that finale.”
“It’s a very tough course in Innsbruck. It will be a matter of following as long as possible and playing all or nothing at the end. I think the last climb, which is very steep, will be decisive. We only have to cover that climb once. The climb on the local lap, which we need to ride seven times, is a smoother climb, but after several ascents that will become tiring as well. It will be a matter of being as fresh as possible at the foot of the last climb. Afterwards there’s still a technical descent towards the finish. I hope to be in the shape of my life.”
Tiesj Benoot: “At this moment I’m still suffering a bit here at the Vuelta after my crash at the Tour. I hope that with today’s rest day and tomorrow’s time trial my body can recover a bit. It’s a very tough course at the Vuelta, with many elevation metres. It’s also a hard race, something that’s difficult to simulate on training. Hopefully I can benefit from riding the Vuelta in the upcoming weeks, also at the Worlds.”
“I am looking forward to defending my country. As Belgians we don’t need to wait until the last climb to try something, we need to join the moves earlier. I’ll have to wait how I feel after the Vuelta to determine my exact role. I do hope to get some super compensation after the Vuelta.”
Three Lotto Soudal Ladies are part of the Belgian line-up for the women’s road race on Saturday 29 September: Valerie Demey, Julie Van De Velde and Kelly Van den Steen. Bjorg Lambrecht and Brent Van Moer of the Lotto Soudal U23 team will participate in the U23 road race on Friday 28 September. Brent Van Moer will also contest the time trial for men U23 on Monday 24 September.