May 21, 2024

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Preview: The Belgian Men's Cycling Championships at Middlekerke 2022

Preview: The Belgian Men’s Cycling Championships at Middlekerke 2022

The pool court in Middelkerke, is that something to look forward to? Naturally! The Belgian Championship is always a private race, so it’s not just going to be a sprint without a fight. Who will be the successor to Wout van Aert? cycling flash Looking forward.


The Belgian road race has been on the calendar since 1894. The first edition was by Wal Leon Hoa. At the time, riders were racing from Smeermaas in Limburg to Maaseik, a route that would be the same in the next two editions. Hoa was no small name at the time, because he also wrote the first edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège on his list of accomplishments.

The victory record was long held by Rick van Steenbergen. Rick, I was allowed to wear the tricolor. Although we must add that these victories occurred in the war years, when the title fight was canceled several times. In 2004 he was surpassed by fast Tom Stills, who wore the Belgian tricolor for the fourth time in Tessenderlo. In the current peloton, Philip Gilbert is the record holder.

BK sometimes leads to surprise winners, like Preben Van Hecke in 2015 – Photo: Cor Vos

Belgian Cycling currently sells Belgian Championships in groups. For example, due to its long-standing presence in Superprestige, Middelkerke has also been able to host a road championship for the first time, a municipality with a cyclocross tradition. Three years ago, she was given the BK, cyclo-cross, and road championship experience for 2022. Lombardsijdenaar and 1976 champion Freddy Maertens is the ambassador.

The nice thing about such a BK on a flat course is that you often get an open course, so sometimes you get surprise winners. Many riders can handle this terrain, they ride in unusually skewed and divided teams (twenty riders in Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, Jens Keukeleire rides alone), and then there is the rivalry between, say, Lotto Soudal and Quick steppers. Reason enough that names like Preben Van Hecke and Dries De Bondt are also on the honor roll.

The last ten winners
2021: science is Wout van Aert
2020: science is Dries de Bundt
2019: science is Tim Merler
2018: science is Yves Lambert
2017: science is Oliver Neesen
2016: science is Philip Gilbert
2015: science is Preben van Heck
2014: science is Jens Debuscher
2013: science is Steen Defolder
2012: science is Tom Bonin

last year

Last year, the title fight continued at Waregem, on a somewhat flat track, but with the treacherous executioner Holstraat. Maury Vincendent and Kenny Molly and Lotto Soudal duo Brent van Muir and Tosh van der Sande continued to make the most of the beautiful weather after a lightning-fast preliminary stage. The four were given a six-minute lead on the peloton, but under the spur of Alpecin-Fenix ​​and Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise they were never dangerous.

At about sixty kilometers before the finish, Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) and new Belgian time trial champion Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) started. The two had to chase for some time, but after 45 kilometers from the finish they made a jump. The cooperation wasn’t perfect, so the peloton could get closer and closer. There were still some cramps, but it didn’t work.

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The final was started by Philip Gilbert, who once pushed through tough holsters. However, other favorites soon followed. They didn’t when Wout van Aert and Remco Evenepoel took off for the landing. Only Theuns could lead up to the two great tenors.

Van Aert was faster than Theuns – Photo: Cor Vos

Although the work of Deceuninck-Quick-Step and Van Hooydonck was obstructed, the battle was far from over. The AG2R Citroën and Alpecin-Fenix ​​both kept hitting the pedals, keeping the lead small. Evenepoel tried again on the last pass over Holstraat, but could not escape.

And an attack under the red cloth brought no consolation. Then Van Aert started the race from the front and almost missed Theon, but Van Aert was a little faster at the end. Behind them Jordi Mewes won the sprint for fourth place.

Van Aert completed his first race kilometers in the Belgian championship since the Amstel Gold Race. In between, he had to put up with a lot: There was the much-discussed verdict in the case against Nick Nowens and appendicitis, which threw Jumbo-Visma’s gold staple back into his preparation. He dedicated his victory to a close friend who recently passed away.

BK results on the road 2021
1. science is Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
2. science is Edward Thunes (Trek Segafredo) in zt
3. science is Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) in 1 second
4. science is Jordi Meeus (BORA-hansgrohe) in 5s
5. science is Milan Mentin (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB) in zt

Pass Buildings

In this Belgian championship, don’t expect a typical Flemish race with steep slopes or cobbled sections. Johann Museo, who supported the organization with advice when charting the route, points out that this is a conscious choice. “I was advised once not to do what every organizer is trying to do. Explore the slopes and gravel. You can, but not every match. We are by the sea, it is flat. There is nothing wrong with the Royal Race.”

There are still plenty of options in the area. After starting at Camerlinckstraat, the peloton first heads south via Leffinge, Zvekote and Sint-Pieters-Kapelle to Diksmuide, which should undoubtedly satisfy Karl Vannieuwkerke and B&B Hotels Rider Jordi Warlop. After that, the riders will pass Odecapelle and Alfringim, and thus will not pass to the tricky Kimmelberg and Münteberg which are not too far away. The motto remains: billiard-level knocks.

Well on the course: two passes through De Moeren, where the wind can still be ugly. The Boulder Plain is part of a roughly 35-kilometer tour, with passes also through Adinkerke and Veurne, which must be covered twice in the initial stage. For completeness: the trails through De Moeren are 156.2 and 118.7 kilometers from the end. So the chance of getting final differences here is rather slim.

More so because it then heads at high speed to the local circuit in Middlekirk via Avecapelle, Ramscapelle, Manikensfair and Newport. After all, there are six 13.8-kilometer local courses, also without a hitch. The tour runs parallel to the beach and also passes through the municipalities of Westende and Lombardsijde, via straight roads. Perfect for teams of sprinters to check and run after (barely) 208.7 kilometres.

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Sunday 26 June 2022: Middlekerke – Middlekerke (208.7 km)

beginning: 12.15 pm
ending: 17.07 – 17.35


One thing is for sure: we will have a new Belgian champion on Sunday. Defending champion Wout van Aert would have liked to be there, but Kempenaar injured his knee last week. His entourage then decided not to take any risks, cut short his training period in the heights and deleted this BK just to be sure. Van Aert won’t spin until Sunday, hoping to prepare for the Tour de France.

What does the seasonal revelation of Arnaud de Lee do? Photo: Cor Vos

This of course provides additional opportunities for large blocks at the start. Just think of Lotto Soudal, which has sixteen pawns. Of course, seasonal inspiration Arnaud de Lee Their leader if he ends up in a quick race, but it would be a shame not to do the numerical superiority. Riders like Tim Wells, Philip Gilbert and Florian Vermeersch should also be round-ready and not sluggish on a smaller group. It is up to their captain Nicholas Maes to deal with this dominance.

In Alpecin-Fenix, with a total of 21 passengers initially, the choice may be more difficult. Here you are with the eternal choice between Jasper Philipsen And the Tim Merler† Now Merlier hasn’t been doing too well lately and will be leaving the team at the end of the year for Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, two factors that make us lean more towards Philipsen. Furthermore, the latter fueled confidence with a win over Wandelaar. However, we don’t want to eliminate Merlier completely, because his sprint race in Eleven Cities has been strong.

In Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert they have two fast men. gerberen tigson He is the most pure sprinter, who was also impressed on the Tour of Belgium with his pure speed. He already showed that earlier this year with his victory in Four Days Dunkirk. On the other hand, you can’t even get out of Quinten Hermans. The Limburger put an end to the drought on the nearly four-year Tour of Belgium, and we assume his hunger isn’t over yet.

Will Evenepoel avoid the sprint? Photo: Cor Vos

What do we do with Quick-Step Apha Vinyl? Not a bad word for fast guy Stan van Tricht, who is on a strong run. But Vlaams Brabanter has admitted to us several times that he’s not a pure runner, and we don’t see him knocking on De Lay, Flipsen & Co. So Lefevere’s men will have to start the attack, and with twelve pawns they will be able to make their mark on the path. Perhaps without a specific leader, but with the goal of creating a difficult path.

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RYMCO EVENBUIL She played a role in every recent BK this way. Even at Ghent’s pool tournament in 2019, it made it difficult for teams of longtime runners. So Schepdaalnaar has excellent fast driving skills, more than anyone else. In the Gullegem Koerse fairground race, perhaps the most similar to the Belgian championship, he even finished it. It is possible that he will find a companion on the journey Dries de Bundt (Alpecin-Fenix), which is always dangerous to escape.

Best team ready? This is traditionally the Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise, which can be shared with a full group of twenty riders. In other countries, for example, you see Uno-X putting an end to the national championship, but for Walter Planckaert, that’s not the case. Why too? BC is an excellent opportunity for them and with Sasha Wemis They also have a quick guy in the ranks. While Robbe Ghys, Rune Herregodts and Jens Reynders are considered dangerous on the set.

Timothy Dupont also deserves some luck – Photo: Cor Vos

The Fourteen Men Watch Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB on Sunday Timothy DupontWho will still sleep poorly after winning the silver medal at the Belgian Championships in Ghent two years ago. He’s been through a lot of heartbreak lately on a personal level, but on the ZLM Tour, he suddenly beat guys like Elia Viviani and Olav Kooij. So don’t write off the 34-year-old fluorescent yellow runner. Just like Milan Mentin, who finished fifth last year.

With that, Minten achieved a lower quality place than Jordi Meuse, who then won the platoon race. It may not always be evident from this year’s results, but in terms of speed, the young Limburger should definitely belong in the top three in our country. We recently saw a flash at Dauphiné, when Wout van Aert loved – except for millimeters – from a stage win. One problem for Meeus: In addition to Cian Uijtdebroecks, the BORA-hansgrohe rider doesn’t have to look for his teammates.

More riders have this problem. Jasper Steuven and Edward Thins At Trek-Segafredo, there are only four Otto Vergerdi, Pete Allegert at Cofidis and Sep Vanmarcke at Israel-Premier Tech, and Jens Keukeleire (EF Education-EasyPost) and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Victorious) must do it alone. Finally, we don’t rule out Amaury Capiot (Arkéa-Samsic), Stan Dewulf (AG2R-Citroën), Thibau Nys (Baloise-Trek) and Thimo Willems (Minerva).

Favorites according to WielerFlits
**** Jasper Philipsen
*** Arnaud De Lie, Gerben Thijssen
** Tim Merler, Remco Evenpoel, Jordi Meuse
* Sacha Wemmes, Dries de Bondt, Timothy Dupont, Edward Theon

Site organization
Participants list

Weather and TV

The weather is expected to be choppy on Sunday. mitovista Expect temperatures up to 18°C ​​and expect a 70% chance of showering here and there. The wind, perhaps the most interesting factor in this BC, blows at Middlekirk with a force of four Beauforts from the west. In De Moeren, the wind comes from the southwest.

sporza Provides images live on Canvas from 1pm, to switch to One after the afternoon bulletin at 1:30pm for the full final.