Stijn Devolder out of Worlds due to lack of form, Hoste named as replacement
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Stijn Devolder out of Worlds due to lack of form, Hoste named as replacement

by Jered Gruber at 4:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Belgian champion: "I cannot do anything...I'm currently too tired and out of shape."

The roller coaster that is the career of Stijn Devolder continues. The rider with form that can only be described as mercurial, has once again lost it, and now appears to be floundering only a little while after seemingly hitting his stride.

Following a disappointing weekend racing the two one day classics, Paris-Brussels and the GP Fourmies, the Belgian champion has decided not to make the journey to Australia to take part in the upcoming World Championships.

The two-time Tour of Flanders winner spoke to Het Nieuwsblad on Monday: "I cannot do anything. I waited until Paris-Brussels and the GP Fourmies this weekend. These two races taught me that I'm currently too tired and out of shape. I had a little bit of the flu midweek. I thought it would get better with rest, but that was not the case. In the current circumstances, I will accomplish nothing at the World Championships. It's not fair to Gilbert for me to travel that far and not be able to help him."

The decision comes very late, with the World Championships road race less than three weeks away. Belgian coach, Carlo Bomans approached Leif Hoste to take the place of Devolder at the upcoming Worlds. Hoste is currently racing at the Vuelta and was more than willing to accept the invitation. 

"[Bomans] presented the situation, and I said yes [to the selection to the Belgian team]. I'm feeling fine, and I'm ready to ride for Gilbert in Australia."

Under normal circumstances, Devolder could have been a major asset to Gilbert in the road race, but if Hoste can manage to bring some of the form that has seen him to top placings at both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix to Australia, he could very well prove to be nearly as vital as Devolder was supposed to be. Whether he does bring top form or not, it looks certain that he'll be a much better possibility considering the return to the dark trough of fitness that Devolder is one again struggling through.

Originally, Devolder was set to also ride the time trial, but at the moment, no one has been named as a replacement to the Belgian time trial team. It looks possible that Dominique Cornu might be the only Belgian representative in Melbourne in the contre la montre.

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