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Van Avermaet concerned about BMC's interest in Gilbert

Cycling News
June 15, 2011, 8:03 BST,
June 15, 2011, 9:12 BST
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step) lead a chase group in pursuit of the break.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step) lead a chase group in pursuit of the break.

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Belgian feels chances in classics would be compromised

Belgian all-rounder Greg Van Avermaet is unsure about BMC's reported interest in compatriot Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) according to Van Avermaet feels that the addition of Gilbert would compromise his own position in the team and the freedoms he currently enjoys.

"I left Omega Pharma-Lotto because I wanted more of a chance to do my own thing," Van Avermaet said. "With Gilbert in the team I was very much constrained in what I could do for myself - I had to work for him."

The Belgian was adamant that it wasn't a personal problem with Gilbert, but simply a sporting concern.

"I think he is a great rider," Van Avermaet continued, "But his arrival at BMC would not be an ideal situation for me. In my opinion if Gilbert signs with BMC I will again no longer have my own chances in the bigger classics like Milan-San Remo and Liège-Bastogne-Liège." Van Avermaet finished seventh in this year's Liège and ninth in La Classicissima. In both races he finished behind Gilbert.

BMC have reassured Van Avermaet that there will be no problem if Gilbert ultimately does sign for the American team, however Van Avermaet remains dubious.

"I've been told by the team that chances will always be given," Van Avermaet said. "That's fine, but I question that commitment when Gilbert really wants to win. We will just have to see."

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