Tour de France - Greg van Avermaet: I'm happy to get the jersey for at least two days
Jul 07 2019 03:26 am CET

Tour de France - Greg van Avermaet: I'm happy to get the jersey for at least two days
Tour de France - Greg van Avermaet: I'm happy to get the jersey for at least two days
Greg Van Avermaet © Mary Cárdenas /

CCC Team's Greg van Avermaet took the first Polka Dot jersey in the 2019 Tour de France. The rider was the first to cross the Muur van Geraardsbergen and took the most KOM points in the opening stage.

Van Avermaet was part of the first escape group of the 106th edition of the French grand tour and despite being in a strong group that included riders like Natnael Berhane, Mads Würzt Schmidt and Xandro Meurisse, he could repel all the attacks and climb the famous wall in the first position, securing the Polka Dot jersey for the day.

"I was very motivated to do something on my home soil," said the Olympic champion. "It's probably the only time in my career when the Tour de France includes the Mur, which is close to my home and it's always special when you get to race in front of your home fans, friends, and family. The Mur itself was very nice, with a lot of people and a great atmosphere but, you still have to go first over the top.

"It was not as easy as it may have seemed on the TV. Meurisse is a strong rider and I was worried about him. I'm happy that I was able to take the first KOM and get the jersey for at least the next two days. It was good to have a plan and I knew that if I pass the Muur first it will be enough to secure the jersey after the stage and I was focused on that. To be honest, that caused a little bit of stress for me at the start but, everything went well and tomorrow some people may be surprised to see me in a jersey like this."

The rider is looking forward to the TTT of the second stage and to all the stages in which CCC Team has the opportunity to try its chances. "It's always good to start the Tour with something," Van Avermaet explained. "A stage win is nice, but the jersey is also special. My goal was to do something in Belgium.

"I got the jersey which I will try to keep for a few days and then focus on stage wins. We are very motivated for tomorrow's team time trial and even though it's not the same team as in the past, I still believe that we have a strong group of riders who specialize in TTT. Winning may be impossible, because of the level of other teams in this race, but finishing in the top five would be a very good result for CCC Team."



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