Tom Boonen, Greg Van Avermaet, Sep Vanmarcke and Philippe Gilbert are all fighting it out to lead Belgium at the UCI Road World Championships

When is strength not a strength? Etixx-Quick Step rider Tom Boonen believes Belgium’s strength in depth may be the country’s weakness at the UCI World Championships as the team continues to decide who will go for the win.

Boonen, world champion ten years ago in 2005, is one of four riders with a strong claim to be the protected man in Richmond at the end of September alongside Sep Vanmarcke, Greg Van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert.

But the 34-year-old says the national team bosses will have to settle on one man to go for the title in Virginia, although he insists there’s not rush to decide who.

“Four leaders is too much,” Boonen is quoted as saying on Sporza. “In a good scenario we would start with a plan A and a plan B. That is, with one leader in plan A and a possible second leader in plan B.”

“But Plan A does not exist at this time. That’s not an issue. We’re not on the spot and will see what happens this week with the riders.”


Secrets of the Toolbox – BMC
  • John Senior

    Sep Vanmarcke has done some amazing rides and with support would be my choice followed by GVA. Boonen and Gilbert are past their sell by date and ought to offer to ride as domestiques deluxe. Tom’s right to say that with all four seeing themselves as leaders a better organised team will take advantage.

  • J1

    GVA has got to be the pick, the course is most suited to him and Boonen and Phil Gil have already been World Champions.