In Flanders, the fight promises to be tough between Wout Van Aert, Mathieu Van der Poel, very fit, and the defending winner Julian Alaphilippe, on a particularly selective world circuit.
Belgium will once again be the host country of the world championships. The 88th edition will conclude on September 26 in Flanders. This is not the first time that this country, a breeding ground for great champions, has hosted the Worlds.
It will even be the tenth time on the road, 19 years after Zolder in 2002. The Flemish region remains a passage often crossed. Already the seventh time at the World Championships. This edition will even go down in history.
It will mark the 100th anniversary of the first World Championships contested in Copenhagen only by amateurs. The scheduled start of the road race in Antwerp and the finish in Leuven. A 268.3 km long race. A copious program awaits the runners with around forty mountains spread over two circuits, a positive vertical drop of 2562 meters and cobblestones.
Once the start on the Grande Place d’Anvers is given, the peloton will start in the direction of Leuven, with a passage in particular in Official Village Keerbergen.
The final will take place on the local circuit and the Flemish circuit. The finish after this long and complicated journey will be on the slightly inclined Geldenaaksevest: “The selection will be known as late as possible so a fortnight beforehand. Eight riders will be selected, ”warns French coach Thomas Voeckler.
“I would like to be caught, concedes Christophe Laporte. This race looks like a classic event. I watched the course a bit. It’s between a Flandrienne and an Ardennes. It is a bit like the Flèche Brabançonne “. The Cofidis rider will soon be decided whether he has been selected or not.
In the meantime, the manager of the French men’s road team defines the specifics of this very particular course:
“In the same circuit, there are three types of route on the same day. There is a whole part online without difficulty, but exposed to the wind. Then it’s a mix on the final of the Flandrian circuit, another on the urban circuit with mountains of 500, 600 meters asphalted.
The finale takes place on these far from flat street circuit roads. In short, this is a circuit for punchers, reserved for runners of classic punchers and not for pure climbers. Knowing that we must not obscure the cobblestone mountain part.
You can’t really compare this event to any other race on the calendar because it’s too hybrid. However, what would look the most would be the Flèche Brabançonne. Moreover, this route follows the roads of the Flèche Brabançonne. This is reserved for punchers, not necessarily those from Liège. Those of the Tour of Flanders can also prove to their advantage ”.
To hope to be successful, certain pitfalls will have to be avoided: “The sequence with little recovery between the mountains could be one of the difficulties,” explains the 4th in the Tour de France 2011. Positioning will also be essential. It is imperative to know how to rub.
It will also be necessary to bet on a good collective spirit because the greater part online is dangerous. In terms of the place of this race in the calendar, if not, we are back to classic compared to other years. There will be the riders who have done the Tour of Spain, those who have recovered from the Tour de France by preparing in a different way “.
Last year, on September 27, Julian Alaphilippe made history even further. In Imola, no one had resisted him. He had signed the first French victory since Laurent Brochard in 1997.
After a devastating acceleration on the last climb about fifteen kilometers from the finish, he won alone with about twenty seconds ahead of the Belgian Wout Van Aert and the Swiss Marc Hirschi. Alaphilippe became the ninth French crowned world champion!
“It was the dream of my career,” commented the French champion hot and moved to tears. I’ve been so close so many times. But I had never even been on the podium “.
Of course, we think the defending winner will be the man to beat, but Thomas Voeckler qualifies and corrects:
“It’s a course that suits Julian well, but like a Wout Van Aert or a Mathieu Van der Poel. I don’t think Julian will be the man to beat. Of course he will be watched. But this race is organized in Belgium on the land of Wout Van Aert. He will be more the number one favorite ”.
Whoever wins is sure to be a tough guy. France of cycling obviously awaits Julian Alaphilippe. He is capable of it. But the competition will be tough. Especially when you notice in what state of form the regional of the stage, Wout Van Aert, is after his last Tour de France! He passed the message on to the world …
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