News: Greg Van Avermaet talks up 2021

After ten years in the same team, and a stellar 2017, classics king Greg Van Avermaet says “just because I didn’t win for a while does not mean that I have to panic.”

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News: Greg Van Avermaet talks up 2021
Source: Sporza

Greg winning in the Tour de Yorkshire

Current Olympic Champion, Classics legend and a winner in the Tour of Yorkshire, Greg Van Avermaet, who is 35, will start a new chapter in his cycling career at AG2R-Citroën in 2021. In the new kit from Ag2R, everything looks a little different for the Olympic champion. After years of the same pattern at BMC and successor CCC, he is now getting acquainted with the AG2R-Citroën approach.

“It is difficult to judge my new team now”, says Van Avermaet. “Because of corona, we didn’t have a December get together. That’s a shame, because that way I could have got to know all the faces. There are a lot of young guys I don’t know yet, but in January we will go to Spain.”

The new bike is here, as is the new equipment. What is the assessment of the kit? Van Avermaet laughs a bit: “I don’t think it’s wrong. It’s something new. Although it’s a pity that the brown shorts remain! I’ve always been in favor of black shorts. They slim down and that looks good. But if the results follow, such kit becomes not important. I didn’t think Mapei’s jerseys were the nicest shirts at the time, but the more great victories that followed, the better such a jersey becomes.”

PelotonPhotos: Greg wins Roubaix

After two difficult years at CCC, Greg Van Avermaet can make a new start at AG2R. “We have a good classics team of seven to eight riders. That was already strong with Oliver Naesen, now I and Bob Jungels are also joining the team and we also have strong domestiques who may be able to do a bit more like Stan Dewulf.”

Van Avermaet – who will opt for a classic run-up to the classics, on whether his team can become a challenger to Deceuninck-Quick Step. “We have to prove that with results. We have to see that we are ready. It is a different situation and that motivates me to make the best of it and to perform at a high level. I was in the same team for 10 years. I could close my eyes and I knew what was going to happen. Now it’s something different and that’s not bad for me.”

Greg Van Avermaet missed the spring classics in the autumn after a heavy fall in Liège. In the meantime, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel seem to have taken over the torch in the one-day classics. Can the AG2R leader still beat them? “I hope so, otherwise I wouldn’t be here”, answers Van Avermaet. “I am convinced that I still have my worth and that I can still win races. Just because I didn’t win for a while does not mean that I have to panic.”

“I also had that competition at the beginning of my career and that motivates me. I really look forward to seeing how those guys race. If everything goes perfectly, I can certainly beat them. I don’t worry too much about it and I watch. have always been very critical of myself. That will not be any different now. I am not easily satisfied and that is how I like to work. I put myself under pressure. The ambition has to remain and it is still there.”

Major Victories

Vuelta a España: 1st Points classification & Stage 9

1st Overall Tour de Wallonie & 1st Stage 5
1st Paris–Tours

1st Overall, Points jersey Tour de Wallonie & 1st Stages 3 & 5

1st Grand Prix de Wallonie

1st Overall Tour of Belgium & 1st Stage 4
Tour de France: 1st Stages 9 (TTT) & 13
Tirreno–Adriatico 1st Stage 3

1st Road race, Olympic Games
1st Overall Tirreno–Adriatico & 1st Stages 1 (TTT) & 6
1st Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Tour de France: 1st Stage 5 & Held Jersey after Stages 5–7

1st UCI World Tour
1st Paris–Roubaix
1st Gent–Wevelgem
1st E3 Harelbeke
1st Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
1st Stage 1 (TTT) Tirreno–Adriatico
1st Stage 1 (TTT) Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana

1st Overall Tour de Yorkshire
1st Points classification Tour de France & 1st Stage 3 (TTT)

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