The coach of the Belgian team for the forthcoming Rio Olympics, Kevin de Weert, has revealed that the team for the Men’s Road Race will be made up of one ‘classics’ rider and four climbers. This means that either Philippe Gilbert or his BMC Racing team-mate Greg van Avermaet will likely miss out on selection.
Despite having previously announced that he would be concentrating on the European Championships in Nice and the World Championships in Qatar rather than the Olympics, Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) has now said that he will in fact be available for selection.
De Weert has announced a shortlist of nine riders for the race which takes place on the 6th of August. The nine are Jan Bakelants, Bart De Clercq, Laurens de Plus, Philippe Gilbert, Ben Hermans, Serge Pauwels, Greg Van Avermaet, Louis Vervaeke and Tim Wellens. On July 22nd, De Weert will announce his final selection.
“There are two ‘classic riders’ in the pre-selection of nine,” De Weert told Het Laatste Nieuws. “In the final team of five that I have in mind there will be just one place reserved for a rider with those characteristics. The four others will be climbers.”
Gilbert has shown recently that he is in good form having taken two stage victories in the Tour of Luxembourg showing that eh has overcome the fracture of his finger.
“Gilbert will have the opportunity in the coming weeks, in the Belgian Championships and the Tour of Poland, to prove how good two stage wins in the Tour of Luxembourg are,” said De Weert.