• Greg Van Avermaet's career is so bright that he's gotta wear shades. (Getty)Source: Getty
If you need just one reason to watch the Amstel Gold Race on 16 April, it’s embodied in the presence of Greg van Avermaet, the hottest rider on the planet today.
Cycling Central

BMC Pro Team
13 Apr 2017 - 8:28 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2017 - 8:42 PM

The BMC rider is fresh from topping the podium at Paris-Roubaix and before that the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, E3 Harelbeke and Gent–Wevelgem in a classics season to remember, now it’s time for the smoother roads and street furniture of the Netherlands.

Van Avermaet will be eyeing his first podium result at Amstel Gold Race and is clearly not short of the confidence to get there.

"My best result at Amstel Gold Race was in 2015 when I finished in fifth place. A lot has happened since then, a lot of big wins, and with my win at Paris-Roubaix I'm definitely going in confident,” he said.

“I’ve said it many times, winning breeds confidence and when a leader is confident, the team is also confident."

To win the 31-year-old will have the team support of Alessandro De Marchi, Silvan Dillier, Floris Gerts, Ben Hermans, Daniel Oss, Dylan Teuns and Loic Vliegen.

"This year the finale has changed, without the final ascent of the Cauberg, and that may change the way the race is won,” van Avermaet said. But, the strongest guys will always be at the finale, no matter what the parcours is.”

Some of those strong riders include Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Tour of Flanders winner Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors), Milan-San Remo winner Michał Kwiatkowski (Sky) and Australian pair Michael Matthews (Sunweb) and Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott).

“I have the legs and I expect another tough race this Sunday,” van Avermaet said. “It's not an easy race to win but I'm really looking forward to lining up at Amstel Gold Race again, especially having missed the race in 2016, and I hope to I'll stand on the podium for the first time in my career."

The going's tough on the Amstel Gold sportive
The Amstel Gold is perhaps the most under-estimated classic of spring, yet it’s one of the toughest there is – and that goes for the sportive version too, which happens the day before the pro race.