Netherlands has announced the team which will be representing them at the upcoming UCI Road World Championships in Australia. This was a tough task as many of the teams were not willing to let their star riders go on the tour. Instead, they want to collect maximum points in the remaining 2022 season.
The selectors admitted that it has been stressful to decide who should they include in the roster, but in the end, things worked out the way they wanted. They believe that they have selected a well-balanced team that will represent the Netherlands finely. The national coach, Koos Moerenhout gave some insight on the selection procedure:
To make a selection for a World Cup in Australia so soon after the Vuelta was quite a mystery. But I’m convinced that we’ll arrive with a balanced team that we can fight for the world title with
Last year’s silver medal winner, Dylan van Baarle is included in the team along with his teammates Bauke Mollema, Pascal Eenkhoorn, Wout Poels,Daan Hoole, Taco van der Hoorn and Jan Maas. One name which is the most looked forward to is Mathieu van der Poel.
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Mathieu van der Poel will be joining the seven players mentioned above. The national coach is confident in his decision to select Mathieu because he thinks that Mathieu will bring a variety to the table. Talking about what inspired the coach to choose Mathieu, Moerenhout said:
Mathieu is a spearhead but we certainly want to use the strength of the entire team. As far as you can compare a Worlds course with a Classic, it is a mix of the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. We have a balanced squad on which we can be competitive on all parts of the course
One thing which Moerenhout is right about is the balance that Mathieu will add to the team. Van Der Poel has a long list of achievements in his career. The Dutch cyclist finished the Tour of Flanders twice in second place. He is also the Amstel Gold Race winner. Although he had to abandon the Tour de France 2022 midway for unknown reasons, he has returned to the cycling world in high spirits. At just 27 years of age, his UCI World Ranking is 8, while his PCS Ranking is 12.
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The UCI Road World Championships is an annual competition which is organized by the national cycling teams. The winner of the competition is called a World Cycling Champion who gets to wear the Rainbow Jersey throughout the year. The competition was held in Flanders in 2021, while this year it is planned to take place in Australia.
For the years 2021-2022, Julian Alaphilippe won the gold medal for France. While in the year 2021, Dylan van Baarle from the Netherlands took home the silver, and Michael Valgren won the bronze medal for Denmark.
Featured Image Via YouTube/ Zwift