Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) says he would like to have better support in the cobbled Classics after a hard fought day in Ghent-Wevelgem on Sunday.
The 2017 winner placed 20th on Sunday after riding the final 50 kilometres alone without fellow team-mates in orange at his side; a problem he also faced in Milan-San Remo two weeks ago.
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“I hope the team is a little better,” he told Het Nieuwsblad with an eye on Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.
“But that is another game. Flanders is more like the E3 Harelbeke. That suits me better. In that race, you have to do it on your own there anyway. “
When the hammer fell early in the race on Sunday, CCC looked after is rider in the echelons. When it began to climb the Kemmelberg, the 2016 Olympic champion lacked help from team-mates.
In the group of 34 speeding towards Wevelgem, where Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) won, even Mathieu Van Der Poel counted on a lead out from his professional continental team Corendon-Circus. WorldTour teams Jumbo-Visma, Trek-Segafredo and Deceuninck-Quick-Step counted three or more, teams UAE and Lotto-Soudal had two.
“It was at a very strange moment,” Van Avermaet continued. “The wind at our backs. I thought ‘they can’t move free here’. But then a gap opened and it had happened anyway. Stupid. I’d rather have had a team-mate with me. Then I would have been at ease.”
Van Avermaet was not going to sprint for the win, but with a team-mate, he could have been to play a game as Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) or Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) did by attacking in the final kilometres.
The team management admits its a young and developing team alongside Van Avermaet, who won the 2017 Paris-Roubaix. Pawel Bernas and Szymon Sajnok rode the race for the first time.
“Everyone did his best. But in that large group, I would have liked to have had someone along with me. That would make it so much easier for me,” Van Avermaet added.
“I have experience, yes, but you are always racing ahead in the wind. That takes strength. But I can’t change anything about it either.”