For the second straight yr, Greg Van Avermaet has needed to withstand the frustration of not making it into his crew’s Tour de France choice – solely on this event, with retirement now simply months away, it’s certainly all of the more durable for the Belgian to deal with.
With a purpose of being a crew employee, he mentioned, and what he noticed pretty much as good type in current races, he thought he may need a shot at choice for what would have been his tenth and final Tour.
However that didn’t show to be the case. Moreover, Van Avermaet already endured the identical scenario in 2022, when he was not chosen for the Tour for the primary time since 2013 by AG2R regardless of being in what he felt was good race situation.
“It is regular that I am upset, in any other case, I would not be bold anymore,” Sporza reported Van Avermaet as saying. ”Particularly as a result of I knew it might be my final Tour. Then you definately hope for some sympathy from the crew.”
Van Avermaet added he was motivated to journey the Tour once more. “It is at all times a tricky race, however it’s nonetheless the largest bike race. So that you wish to be a part of it.
“A stage win may need been troublesome for me, however I might have been in a position to be a crew employee and get in breaks.
“My degree was good, I had some good leads to the Classics, and that’s the purpose whenever you suppose you’ll make it into the lineup.”
A winner for the primary time in almost 4 years this Might within the Boucles de l’Aulne/Chateaulin one-day race, Van Avermaet recognised that it had not been a straightforward choice for AG2R. However when it got here to his view of the rationale behind that call, he pulled a couple of punches.
“I do know it isn’t a straightforward choice for them. I had hoped to take part within the Tour primarily based on my palmares and my expertise. In different groups, riders have been chosen due to these components, however apparently, they did not matter to my crew,” he mentioned.
“I now should swallow this bitter tablet and hope for an excellent autumn.”
One final Vuelta unlikely
Wanting forward at options to the Tour de France, Van Avermaet mentioned he was not overly passionate about driving the Vuelta a Espana, the place again in 2008 he took a breakthrough first stage win and the factors jersey – the latter now set to be his solely closing classification victory in a Grand Tour.
“I’ll have extra possibilities to get good leads to smaller stage races and one-day races, reminiscent of in Quebec and Montréal,” he defined.
“It is exhausting, however I’ve to have the ability to course of this. Let’s hope that inside per week I can put my ideas absolutely again on racing once more.”
It doubtless did not assist issues for Van Avermaet that again in June 2022, he already lived via the identical non-selection state of affairs for the Tour de France, telling reporters on the time in a specifically organised press convention, “it was an enormous disappointment as a result of I used to be not likely anticipating it.”
“They by no means mentioned I used to be 100% positive for the Tour however I had the sensation I used to be not likely replaceable or not within the crew, so it was a shock.”
Final June Van Avermaet expressed his hopes that he can be chosen for the 2023 Tour, saying “I do know I had some nice moments there and I understand how particular it’s to be there, so I hope to be again and I’ll be capable of cease on an excellent observe.”
Nevertheless, as he found this week, by way of the Tour de France not less than, that was not going to be the case.