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"It's the fourth time I get this award, but it's still special. You can only be here if you've had a good year. I attach more importance to classics victories, but to get the Flandrien is still a great moment."

Photo: Sirotti

GREG VAN AVERMAET

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16.10.2015 @ 15:11 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Greg Van Avermaet has won the Flandrien of the year award that is given to the best Belgian rider of the past year. For Van Avermaet, it is the third Flandrien in a row and the fourth in total. That makes him the most successful rider in the history of the award, with Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert both taking the title three times.

 

 

The Flandrien is a trophy awarded by the newspaper Het Nieuwsblad for the best Belgian rider of last season. A jury of experts have made a list of five nominees and the riders themselves have voted.

 

In addition to Van Avermaet, Tiesj Benoot, Tim Wellens, Edward Theuns and Philippe Gilbert were nominated. Van Avermaet rode a very consistent season, with his stage victory in the Tour as the standout achievement. He also took the overall win in the Tour of Belgium and won a stage in the Tirreno. With BMC, he also won the team time trial in the Tour.

 

Besides those victories, Van Avermaet also collected a number og podium places.He was third in the Tour of Flanders, third in Paris-Roubaix, second in Strade Bianche, second in the Eneco Tour and third in Paris-Tours.

 

Van Avermaet scored 262 points in the voting. With 162 points, Benoot had to settle for second.

 

There were more prizes in Oostender.: world champion Peter Sagan was selected as International Flandrien and Jolien D'hoore as Flandrienne. World champion Mathieu van der Poel received the Flandrien of the field award.

 

 

"It's the fourth time I get this award, but it's still special," Van Avermaet said. "You can only be here if you've had a good year. I attach more importance to classics victories, but to get the Flandrien is still a great moment.

 

"The sporting highlight of 2015 was my stage victory in the Tour. To beat Peter Sagan in the sprint will stay with me forever. The low point of the year was to get rid ofthat doping affair. This case should never have been there. It was definitely not fun to be at home with my pregnant wife. But as with a setback in a race you should try to move forward. I tried to get something positive out it."

 

Will next year be better? "It's hard to say how much growth margin I have," he said. "I've pretty quickly reached a good level, and I take small steps And I'm still working on it. I'm a late bloomer. Last year was very good, and in 2015 it was even better. I hope that I will have some luck to win a classic next year."

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