Greg Van Avermaet reacts to his non-selection for the Tour de France: “I really thought I was there, the disappointment is huge”

Surprise in the selection of AG2R-Citroën for the Tour de France which begins on July 1: no trace of Greg Van Avermaet who was however preparing to participate in his 10th Grande Boucle. For the principal concerned, the surprise was also great not to see his name among the eight riders selected by his team: “I really thought I was at the Tour de France so it’s a huge disappointment”, he explained during of a Zoom conference organized by his training “It was not really nice to learn that I will not be there despite my good history with the Grande Boucle.” The Belgian has won two Tour de France stages in his career, wearing the yellow jersey for 11 days.

For the leaders of AG2R-Citroën, Van Avermaet did not show enough certainty in the mountains, when he had already had a lot of trouble finishing the race last year: “It’s true that I struggled to get in on time during the previous edition but the situation was different (Editor’s note: he attributed his poor form to his vaccination) Afterwards, it’s true that in Dauphiné, I often finished in the last group But I wasn’t worried about that because it’s a race that didn’t suit me and I came from a big block of races before that But seeing me in the gruppetto probably freaked out my sporting directors who preferred to choose another climber in my place”, justified the Rio 2016 Olympic champion.

In addition to the disappointment of not being there, the Belgian felt that the course of this edition suited him better than that of the previous year: “I saw several opportunities to shine in the first week, in particular the cobblestone stage and that of Longwy,” continued Van Avermaet, “while helping the team and protecting our leader for General Ben O’Connor.”

Although he is obviously disappointed by his team’s decision not to select him, Van Avermaet believes that he can only accept it and look forward: “I will take a few days to digest the decision but after I I have to move forward. I will now set myself new goals to, at this stage of my career, seek to win again”, positive the one who has not raised his arms since the GP Montreal in September 2019.

First reservist of the French team, Van Avermaet still has a small chance of competing in the Tour de France, all the more so with the resurgence of covid in recent days. But he is also aware that he may have already competed in the last Tour de France of his career.

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