Benoît Cosnefroy thinks that it will take “a cat” on the circuits of the Mondial de Louvain full of brakes, raises and small bosses. The cat, “poeske”, was the nickname of Jef Scherens, local glory and seven-time world champion in speed in the 1930s and 1940s, but before the manly explanation expected today on the slopes of Flanders, it will be necessary especially beware of a tiger. Since he left the work and the sand, his teenage jungles, for the bitumen, Wout Van Aert has become a big beast. He knows he is awaited by a platoon of formidable hunters, starting with the tenant of the title, Julian Alaphilippe, but that did not disturb his majestic pre-match purr. Even if the silver medals (at the Round and at the World Cup 2020, at the Olympics, in the Sunday stopwatch …) begin to weigh around his neck, the “unique” leader of the Belgian selection advances without doubting towards one of the appointments. you most important of his young career.
In the shadow of the sign
His compatriots jostle each other on the prize list, however, the last winner at home is Benoni Beheyt in… 1963, during the “betrayal of Ronse” and the immense disappointment of Rik Van Looy, Emperor of Herentals like… Wout .
Remco Evenepoel insists that he meets at the entire service of his colleague, Jasper Stuyven in front of his chocolate shop wants to transform himself into a luxury team member and a whole people attend the 27th sacred with a disturbing serenity. The French, Colbrelli, Cort Nielsen, Pidcock and the ghost Van der Poel ride comfortably in the shadow of the giant sign. A few sprinters too, Caleb Ewan in the lead of course (Cavendish is discreetly there). Even if there is hardly any flat between Antwerp and Louvain over the 268 kilometers on the menu, we saw still imposing groups at the gates of the finish on the other events, Cordon-Ragot the first blue is not than 27th). The presence of “Pocket Rocket” worries (a little) the favorites. All will leave the main square in Antwerp for six hours on the road without the slightest pit stop.