Reversed roles for Van Avermaet and Gilbert in Belgian Worlds team

Over the years, first at Lotto and then at BMC, Greg Van Avermaet has grown used to playing second fiddle to Philippe Gilbert, but the traditional hierarchy will be reversed in the Belgian team at the World Championships road race in Ponferrada on Sunday.

By his own admission, Gilbert has simply not done enough in the second part of the season to justify the leader’s role in Carlo Bomans’ squad. Van Avermaet, by contrast, arrives in Spain in what he has described as the form of his life. Strong performances in Canada earlier this month raised hopes; a brace of victories at the GP de Wallonie and GP Impanis last week has brought expectation.

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.