Greg Van Avermaet: I did what I could to win, but it wasn't enough
Jul 15 2017 06:18 pm CET

Greg Van Avermaet: I did what I could to win, but it wasn't enough

Greg Van Avermaet was disappointed but realistic following his second place at the 14th stage of the Tour de France. The BMC Racing Team rider accepted that Michael Matthews was just strong.

The Belgian had hoped to repeat his 2015 victory on the same arrival in Rodez, and seemed to be headed for success until Matthews of Team Sunweb surpassed him and took the win.

"Matthews was just stronger," Van Avermaet told journalists after the stage. "I think I did everything I had to do. I came out off (Philippe) Gilbert's wheel at the right moment but then Matthews surpassed me like an airplane. There's nothing you can do about it.

"The approach was perfect I think. I was where I had to be. Oli(ver Naesen) went on right away with Phil and myself in his wheel. Then I waited until about 250 meters and did what I could, but apparently it wasn't enough to win.

"I knew that Matthews would be the most dangerous rider because he has that late acceleration in the last 50 meters. And today he had it too, so that's a shame.

"I wasn't supposed to mess this up. I was more nervous than usual, I thought. But if you get beaten like that I can live with it."
Photo of Greg Van Avermaet by Mary Cárdenas /