Van Avermaet gets hero's welcome after Olympic success

Belgian visits hometown of Zogge

Greg Van Avermaet was given a hero's welcome as he rode from Hamme to his hometown of Zogge to celebrate winning the gold medal at the Olympic road race two weeks ago. 

Van Avermaet sealed one of the biggest wins of his career on the opening day of the Olympic Games with victory in the road race ahead of Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang. On Sunday, the Belgian celebrated at home. He paid a visit to the town hall in East Flanders town of Hamme where 'he greeted the people like a pope' as one local website described it. From there, he made the short ride down the road to Zogge. After a brief stop in Zogge, he continued onto Dendermonde where he currently lives.

The celebration was marked by the backdrop of the continuing level 3 security threat in Belgium following the attacks on Brussels airport earlier in the year. Police were out to ensure it all went off without any problems, and the public was asked to present bags for security checks.

Despite this, big crowds turned up in Hamme, Zogge and Dendermonde, lining the street between the towns as well. 

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