Greg Van Avermaet uncertain about Philippe Gilbert transfer
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Greg Van Avermaet uncertain about Philippe Gilbert transfer

by Ben Atkins at 10:35 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics
BMC Racing’s existing Belgian Classics man hopes he will be able to follow his own ambitions

greg van avermaetMost of the BMC Racing Team’s riders have reacted positively to the arrival of cycling’s current biggest star Philippe Gilbert for 2012, but Greg Van Avermaet isn’t quite so sure, according to Sporza. The 26-year-old from Lokeren, just east of Gent, Belgium, left Omega Pharma-Lotto – Gilbert’s current team – at the end of last year in order to be able to be able to pursue his own ambitions. Gilbert’s arrival at BMC Racing might mean that Van Avermaet is to play a secondary role once more, he fears.

“This makes me a little unsure, I won’t deny it,” Van Avermaet said in both Het Laatste Nieuws and the Gazet van Antwerpen.

During his time with Omega Pharma-Lotto, Van Avermaet took a number of good results, including the points jersey at the 2008 Vuelta a España, but never felt that he had the full support of the team with more established riders like Gilbert there.

Since his move to BMC Racing this year, Van Avermaet’s results have got even better, winning a stage and the overall Tour de Wallonie, a stage and the points jersey at the Österreich-Rundfahrt, and second in the Tour of Belgium (ironically, behind Gilbert). He has also notched up top ten finishes in Milano-Sanremo, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Monte Paschi Strade Bianche, as well as finishing second in the Clásica San Sebastian.

"I have the ambition to be even better, but maybe that won’t happen in 2012,” he conceded. “I won’t leave BMC in any case, because that would be stupid.

"I had the full confidence of the team this year and was allowed to take my own chances everywhere,” he explained. “BMC always delivered on its promises, so I believe in a positive outcome.

“We will have the strongest team in the world,” he added optimistically. “Maybe that's in my favour."


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