Belgian team announced for Olympic road race
Jul 23 2016 09:18 pm CET

Belgian team announced for Olympic road race
Belgian team announced for Olympic road race

The names of the five riders that will represent Belgium in the road race at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro have been announced. Greg Van Avermaet, Philippe Gilbert, Serge Pauwels, Tim Wellens and Laurens De Plus will fight for a medal on August 6.

National Coach Kevin De Weert knows it is a tough route and that's why the team won't have a real leader. "Everyone knows what they have to do. Van Avermaet, Gilbert, Wellens and Pauwels are given a free role and De Plus will be there to support them. It will be especially important to communicate well during the race," he said.

Van Avermaet showed his satisfaction with the news and looks forward to the route. "Going to the Olympics is always something special. London was special but Rio will certainly be too. Moreover I can surpass my father, who went to one Olympics at Moscow 1980. And hopefully we can also achieve something with the team," he commented.

This will be the first Olympics for Pauwels but he has the advantage that he already knows the course because he took part in a test event where he finished second. "The route is terribly difficult and that test event of last year was shorter, only 160 kilometers," the rider added.

It will be also the fist time for Tim Wellens, who has had a good season with an overall victory at the Tour de Pologne, and he was preparing for this moment. "Rio has been one of my goals of the season. The road race is my main goal but I'm also motivated for the time trial. The Games are a unique experience. I am very curious about the Olympic village. I look forward to it," he said.

De Plus, at his 20 years of age will be the youngest rider not only on the team but in the entire peloton and he is very excited about the news. "I look forward to it and I am pleased with the trust that the coach put in me. I also got an sms from Tom Boonen. He said that I am his hero. That's unbelievable, that coming from a rider that I have looked up to as a kid," he said.
Image: Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games logo





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