Loïc Vliegen is one of the eight selected riders to represent the Belgian tricolor at the World Championship in Imola, Italy, on Sunday 27th of September. Short after the cancellation of the rainbow battle in Martigny, Switzerland, the Ferrari race circuit in the north-east of Italy was found as a new venue. Rik Verbrugghe has chosen for Vliegen, Tiesj Benoot, Oliver Naesen, Jasper Stuyven, Pieter Serry, Wout Van Aert, Greg Van Avermaet and Tim Wellens. The race of 258.2 kilometer is composed of nine laps of 28.8 kilometer between the centre of Imola and the race circuit, where start and finish will be. The repetition of the Mazzolano and the Cima Gallisterna, climbs with a length of 3 kilometer, sums up to almost 5000 height meters to be covered.
After many national selections in the youth categories, resulting in a bronze medal at the junior European Championships in Offida, it will be Vliegen's first participation at the pro World Championships. Even though he was selected for the first ever European Championships in 2016, and he was also a part of the Belgian team at the Tokyo Test Event in 2019. The 26 year old is in a good condition since the competition restart. He has proven it again last week by winning the Tour du Doubs. Vliegen feels ready to play his role within the Belgian team.
« I missed the selection for the European Championship, so I'm very happy to be a part of the team for the World Championship. The national coach compared the parcours with an Ardennes terrain, which should suit me. I know the finish at the race circuit in Imola since the Giro d'Italia in 2018, but I'll have to wait a little longer to get to know the rest of the course. »
« With my team we mapped out the preparation towards this important day. Last Saturday, I took advantage of the kermesse race in Heist to do a long qualitative training day. The upcoming Tour de Luxembourg with five intensive days is the perfect final preparation. I want to give all I have for our two leaders during my first World Championship! »