The bunch of teenagers represented the different member countries of the international cycling union (UCI) by wearing their different national shirts. The first race is scheduled for tomorrow, when the men's elite riders battle it out for the medals in the individual time trial between the coastal resort of Knokke-Heist and the city of Bruges on a flat and fast course.
Belgium's Wout Van Aert and Remco Evenepoel are among the contenders for the medals tomorrow, but will face stiff opposition from a handful of other favourites including defending champions Filippo Ganna of Italy.
"The timing couldn't have been better"
The Flemish Sports Minister Ben Weyts was happy to give the official kick-off this morning, as the World Championships celebrate their 100th edition in Flanders. "The weather is perfect and we have been able to relax corona measures. The timing could not have been better", Mr Weyts beamed.
The World Championships will take 8 days. After the time trials in the different men's and women's age categories (Sunday to Wednesday), the road races will start on Friday with the final race taking place next Sunday in and around Leuven, when the men's elite riders battle it out for eternal fame. Wout Van Aert will start as the big favourite and enjoys a protected status in the Belgian team.