Greg Van Avermaet ready to seize Worlds with both hands

On form alone Greg Van Avermaet has perhaps the best claim to leadership within the Belgian team at the UCI Road World Championships after a season that has seen him win consistently.

However reputation and calibre cannot be ignored in a team that includes Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert - both previous winners of a world road title. Van Avermaet though is confident, in himself and that should he have the legs to win, his teammates will lend their support to his cause.

"I'm in good shape and I've got a lot of motivation for the Worlds," he told Cyclingnews at the Belgian team press conference.

"It's been a good year for me so far so I want to finish it off with a big one and hopefully I can get the world title but it will not be easy because we have a lot rivals around us. It's a nice parcours but I think it could be harder, for me, like in Quebec, which is maybe a little bit harder than hear but we have to get the best out of it."

Third in Flanders and Roubaix and with a Tour stage win to his name, this has arguably been the 30-year-old's best season. Recently he has finished second in the Eneco Tour, fifth in Hamburg and 10th in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec.

"We have three leaders in the Belgian squad and I'm happy to sit next to Philippe and Tom. I deserve my spot because I've had the best results so far and I've been having a good year. There parcours suits me and I'm feeling good and I think that I have a chance with the support from the team around me. I'll try to go for it because it's not every year that you have a big chance to win. This is my chance and I'll take it with both hands."

How the race pans out is of course an unknown. We've seen lone winners and groups compete at the finish over the last two days and Van Avermaet isn't holding out for one particular outcome.

"It could be one-two but it could be a big sprint between thirty or forty riders. We'll see how the race goes. The weather will make a big difference and make the race really hard if it rains. There's still a big chance of a bunch sprint."

"You have the short climbs and cobbles and they're perfect for me but maybe they could be a little bit longer but it suits a Classics rider and I'm glad that they've put the finish at the hardest part of the race. I'm confident that the finish suits a rider like me." 

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