From the outset Van Avermaet believed that he was well suited to this stage: "I had singled out this stage ages ago and when I reconnoitred the stage on Wednesday my expectations were confirmed."
"There are not all that many chances, so I was determined to make the best of this one. It is a classic route with narrow roads, bends and turns. That's when I come into my own" he told VRT Sport. "I am well prepared and ready."
Before the race Van Avermaet had hoped for a place in the first five. In the event he came home in second place. He is now focusing on taking the yellow jersey. This could happen on Wednesday, when the peloton is confronted with the cobble-stone sections of Paris-Roubaix.