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by Mark Zalewski
April 21, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Montaguti wins climber’s sprint at Tour of the Alps, Pinot makes up ground; Ruffoni wins sprint in longest stage at Tour of Croatia; Australian Road Nationals to remain in Ballarat until 2020; British Cycling commissions ‘medical review’ after Wiggins’ medical package scandal; ORICA-Scott changing Grand Tour strategy: Simon Yates with Chaves at Tour de France; Gilbert or Van Avermaet: which for Belgium at world championships?; Andrey Grivko given 45-day suspension for punching incident at Dubai Tour; Loss of Rabobank sponsorship affects Dutch federation youth programme; OVO Energy becomes title sponsor of Women’s Tour, Tour of Britain; Nicole Van den Broeck passes away; More good news from Girdlestone’s road to recovery; Van der Breggen and Valverde, an annual Fleche tradition; Video: The Tour De France Explained in Animation; Video: Oakley Cycling Sessions 2017.
With Philippe Gilbert and Greg Van Avermaet impressive performances this spring, the debate as to which rider would be the protected favourite for Belgium at the UCI Road World Championships in the fall has already begun in the Belgian media.
The Belgian national team has a enviable problem.
“You can not choose,” said Jan Bakelants in Sporza’s Extra Time programme. “They both won a Monument, but I put the Amstel Gold Race over the three different races Van Avermaet won.”
“Gilbert has delivered a fantastic performance, but I find the regularity of Greg at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 and Gent-Wevelgem slightly bigger,” countered Sven Nys, with journalist Karl Vannieuwkerke in agreement.
Bakelants argued that Gilbert’s palmares so far this year is more well-rounded and would pay dividends at worlds more — however he also floated the idea of having a two-pronged strategy, despite the two riders racing for different trade teams.
“Gilbert wins at two different race and then another against fresh riders coming from the Tour of the Basque Country. I think we should assess that performance as high. We do not even have to choose for the World Championship, currently we have two leaders.”
Click through to read more at Sporza.