Greg Van Avermaet will race on to Liège-Bastogne-Liège next Sunday, his CCC Team have confirmed.
The Belgian was originally set to end his Classics season at Amstel Gold Race last weekend, but he says his condition is good enough that he can carry on to the final Ardennes Classic.
Van Avermaet has struggled to take a major result in the 2019 Classics, with his best result a third place finish at the E3 BinckBank Classic in March. He was unable to follow Alberto Bettiol (EF Education Drapac) in his solo move at the Tour of Flanders, eventually finishing 10th, before missing the key break at Paris-Roubaix, eventually finishing in 12th place.
After a 14th place in Amstel Gold on Sunday, the 33-year-old will now eye a chance at victory in Liège with it’s new flat finish that will suit the punchier riders over the climbers.
“I was happy with my legs and condition yesterday at Amstel Gold Race so, after taking a day to think about it, I have decided to line up at Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday,” Van Avermaet said.
“I think I have managed to maintain my form from the cobbled Classics to the Ardennes and with the new finish in mind, I think I have a good chance to make a nice result.
“For sure, I will not be lining up as a favourite but I will line up motivated to do my best and end the Classics season well.”
Van Avermaet has raced Liège just four times in his career, last taking part in 2017 when he finished in 11th place on the old uphill finish to Ans. The 256km race will this year return to a finish in the centre of Liège, with the last climb of the Roche-aux-Fauçons coming 15km from the finish before a flat run to the line.
Fellow Belgian Serge Pauwels will also line up in the CCC Team squad for Liège, along with Italian Alessandro De Marchi with the rest of the team to be decided after Wednesday’s La Flèche Wallonne.
“Despite a long Classics season, Greg had good sensations yesterday and is not feeling too tired so, with an easy week this week, he should recover well and be in a good position to start Liège-Bastogne-Liège,” sports director Valerio Piva said.
“The new finish will suit Greg more than the previous editions and it will probably mean the race will open up earlier than usual.
“Greg is, of course, our best option for a result but we also have riders like Alessandro De Marchi, who was good yesterday to finish in seventh place, and Serge Pauwels, who showed his condition is also improving, so I think we will line up with a few cards to play. We will make the final team selection for Liège-Bastogne-Liège after La Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday.”