'I've had to prove I could do it my entire career, but with Olympic gold there is recognition'

Greg Van Avermaet hopes his Olympic Games gold medal will allow him to take a free role at the World Championships in October

Greg Van Avermaet wins the men's road race at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

(Image credit: Watson)

Greg Van Avermaet admits he may not be the best card the Belgium team has to play at the World Championships in October, but says the confidence he's taken from his Olympic Games victory makes him feel he can win the rainbow stripes.

Tom Boonen is believed to be the trump card in a race that is almost certain to come down to a bunch sprint. The Classics legend has won three races since July 23 to prove that he is still among the best fast men in the peloton.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.