Tom Boonen and Greg Van Avermaet lead an all-star lineup for Belgium at the World Championships, while Dylan Groenewegen heads up the Dutch squad

Tom Boonen and Greg Van Avermaet will share leadership duties at the UCI World Championships road race in Doha next month, having been named in a Belgium squad boasting a rider for every eventuality.

Boonen will be the man to contest the race if it comes down to a bunch sprint in downtown Doha despite a heavy crash which saw him abandon the Eneco Tour last week.

Van Avermaet will probably be given more of a free role to attack the race should it break down in the crosswinds in the length desert section of the course in Qatar.

Alongside the Classics pairing, possible backup plans exist with the likes of Jens Debusschere, Jurgen Roelandts and Jasper Stuyven, the latter of which foiled the sprinters in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne this year with a late solo attack.

Etixx-Quick Step duo Iljo Keisse and Nikolas Maes, Vuelta a España stage winner Jens Keukeleire and Eneco Tour runner up Oliver Naesen round out the road race squad.


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Dylan Groenewegen is likely to be the protected rider in the Netherlands squad for the road race, having won stage one of the Eneco Tour and stage four of the Tour of Britain.

Team Sky’s Danny van Poppel is also in the squad to add to the firepower in the potential sprint finish, with a team made up of strong leadout men.

Tom Dumoulin and Jos van Emden, who will both compete in the time trial, are joined by former Tour of Britain winner Dylan van Baarle, John Degenkolb’s right-hand man Koen de Kort, Eneco Tour winner Niki Terpstra, Tom Leezer, and Sebastian Langeveld.

As usual, the Netherlands have several opportunities to win in the women’s race, with the likes of Anna van der Breggen, Chantal Blaak, Ellen van Dijk and Marianne Vos in the squad.

The leadership may be handed to sprinter Kirsten Wild, who performed well at the Tour of Qatar in the spring.

For Belgium, Wiggle-High5’s Jolien d’Hoore will fly the flag in the women’s race in what is a race almost exclusively taking place on the downtown circuit.