Van Avermaet retires: "This adventure will come to an end"
The brilliant Belgian classicist announced on his social networks that he will end his cycling career at the end of this season. He has 41 victories to his credit, among which the 2017 Paris-Roubaix and his fantastic triumph at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games road race on a Dantesque day stand out. He is left with the thorn in his side of not having been able to win the Tour of Flanders, the race that every Flemish cyclist dreams of winning.
End of cycle for Greg Van Avermaet
The generational handover among the dominators of the classics during the last decade is coming to an end. If a few months ago it was Peter Sagan who announced his retirement from road cycling, now it is another illustrious cobblestone rider, Greg Van Avermaet, who has announced that his cycling career is coming to an end.
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An emotional post on his Instagram account, in which he declares to be proud of his career and thanks all those who have supported him in this adventure and which is accompanied by a short video recalling some of the best moments of his career, served to announce the farewell at the end of the season of the Belgian cyclist.
Born in Lokeren, a Belgian town located in the heart of Flanders, halfway between Ghent and Antwerp, 37 years ago, Greg Van Avermaet has been the paradigm of flandrien. A specialist in the cobblestone classics, a tough, hard-riding guy with a tremendous engine to set a devastating pace in these races and a remarkable top-end speed that gave him the opportunity to define the races.
Something that served him to achieve what is surely his most cherished triumph, the 2017 Paris-Roubaix in which he won the sprint in a small group of 5 cyclists who reached the velodrome of the French city together.
No less important was his victory at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, in a race marked by rain and in which, on a very hard circuit, he gave us an exciting chase in the final stretch to hunt down Rafal Majka who could even taste the victory.
Apart from these two great milestones of his career, we must also highlight the pile of classics that he treasures: 2 Omloop Het Niewsblad, E3 Saxo Classic, Ghent-Wevelgem, Paris-Tours, plus 2 stages in the Tour de France throughout a career that began in 2006 in the ranks of Bodysol, from where he moved to Lotto, in its different denominations during the following 4 years. In 2011 he would join BMC where he would achieve his greatest triumphs until the 2019 and 2020 seasons in which he was in the ranks of CCC to finish his days as a professional these last years in the French squad AG2R Citroën.
The only remaining debt in his career is not having been able to conquer the Tour of Flanders, the desired race for every Flemish cyclist and that Van Avermaet constantly touched during his best years, accumulating no less than 4 podiums in it.