The 30-year-old, who will lead BMC at next week’s Tour of Qatar (February 8-12), is regarded among the best one-day racers in the peloton, but his most notable triumph was in the 2011 edition of Paris-Tours.
Nonetheless, Van Avermaet is confident that he can finally break his duck in the sport’s biggest races in the coming months.
“I think this could be the year, I am aiming for a big classic, I am always up there and it is always one of my biggest goals,” he told Cycling Weekly. “We have a really strong team, a bit older, a bit better and the team know the courses well.”
“It is really hard every year and we now have a generation of sprinters who can also ride the classics, [but] I have to believe in myself. I think I can beat these guys in the end.”
Because of his consistent nature in Flanders, and well as Paris-Roubaix (in which he has finished third and fourth in the past three years), speculation has linked him to join Trek for 2017. The team will lose its Classics talisman Fabian Cancellara when he retires at the end of the year.
“I am really happy at BMC at the moment, BMC are in the leading position to offer a new contract and see if they want to build a team around me,” he added. “But I will see if someone offers me something interesting and then choose what will make my career as successful as possible.”
One thing that Van Avermaet believes will help his career is becoming father for the first time to a baby daughter, Fleur, last summer.
“The first four months were not that easy” he joked. “It’s a nice experience and a lot of fun. It also gives extra motivation and you feel as if you have to protect and provide for her. It won’t change me but motivate me.”
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Nick Bull is an NCTJ qualified journalist who has written for a range of titles, as well as being a freelance writer at Beat Media Group, which provides reports for the PA Media wire which is circulated to the likes of the BBC and Eurosport. His work at Cycling Weekly predominantly dealt with professional cycling, and he now holds a role as PR & Digital Manager at SweetSpot Group, which organises the Tour of Britain.
Katie Archibald left 'disappointed' after Track Champions League round four
The 28-year-old trails by eight points ahead of the competition’s final round
By Tom Davidson • Published
Driver who allegedly hit Davide Rebellin before fleeing the scene, located in Germany
After a manhunt for the driver, 62-year-old man located in Germany
By Tom Thewlis • Published
Adam Blythe unveils 24 carat gold Genesis bike
24 carat gold leaf bike design a collaboration between Genesis, Fat Creations and Blythe
By Tom Thewlis • Published
'Things didn't go the way I wanted': Greg Van Avermaet decides to delay Covid-19 booster, blaming end of season results on vaccine
The World Health Organisation says 'more serious or long-lasting side effects to COVID-19 vaccines are possible but extremely rare'
By Ryan Dabbs • Published