Belgium and Italy announced their Motocross of Nations teams at Lommel while the French – winners for the last three years – waited until early this week.
Speculation about the French team has been rife and was fuelled by the recent news that AMA championship chaser Marvin Musquin has ruled himself out of selection.
“This weekend will be announced the French team for the MX of Nations,” he said. “I won’t be part of the team because I will have to take care of my knee in September once the season is over.
“It’s a disappointment for me but after talking with my doctor and my team I have to do what’s best for my next season. I will be cheering on Team France to be on top of the podium again.”
As this issue of TMX was about to wing its way to the printers it was revealed that France will field US-based Dylan Ferrandis along with Gautier Paulin and Romain Febvre.
With the US team likely to be without Eli Tomac – who appears to have ruled himself out due to a packed schedule – and Jason Anderson who has surgery on a foot injury scheduled after the final AMA National the French trio look likely to start as firm favourites.
Joel Smets has surprisingly dropped 2016 star man Kevin Strijbos and will instead be trying to regain the title Belgium last won in 2013 with Julien Lieber (MX2), Clement Desalle (MX1) and Jeremy Van Horebeek (Open).
The Italian squad is Michele Cervellin (MX2), Tony Cairoli (MX1) and Alessandro Lupino (Open).