Belgium controlled the World Cup for promises for a long time. They sat in a chair the whole time, but at the end they missed a finisher.
The Belgian promises were all agreed after their World Cup. A strong and good game, but in the end they missed a finisher. National coach Serge Pauwels referred to sporza also to Arnaud De Lie. “With De Lie there, we were completely seated,” said Pauwels.
The reason De Lie hadn’t come to Australia was obvious. He wanted to stay in Belgium to score UCI points in races that suit him. UCI points that Lotto Soudal desperately needs, because they are in danger of dropping out of the WorldTour. He also quickly made a calculation. Not going to Australia would earn him more points.
De Lie has already won 9 races this season, already provided the most UCI points (2180) for Lotto Soudal and therefore wants to provide even more points. De Lie’s decision is therefore understandable. They will also understand his decision at Belgian Cycling.
His decision did have consequences for the Belgian selection in Australia. With De Lie there, the tactic might have turned out even better, because the race course resulted in a new Belgian medal with De Lie in it.
But because of the relegation battle, the chance of a medal was smaller. Without that battle, De Lie might have been at the World Cup in Australia and Belgium would have an extra medal or perhaps a world champion.