The best manager prize went to Patrick Lefevere, his fifth and first since 2013, while the best domestique prize went to Julien Vermote for the first time.
“I did not see Phil [Gilbert] sitting in the hall, so I was pretty sure I would win,” Van Avermaet said according to Sporza. “The trophy cupboard I built made is starting to fill. My Flandriens are also there, the UCI WorldTour trophy, my cobblestone and the Rio gold medal.”
Van Avermaet finished the season as the overall WorldTour winner having won Paris–Roubaix, Gent–Wevelgem, E3 Harelbeke, and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The BMC rider was also second at the Tour of Flanders, Strade Bianche, and GP de Québec. There was also the overall Tour de Luxembourg victory for the 32-year-old.
Matching Gilbert’s record of four straight Kristallen Fiets wins, Van Avermaet draws to within one win of Johan Museeuw’s record of five. Looking ahead to 2018, Van Avermeat explained he will focus on the classics with the Tour of Flanders his major objective.
“I want to be there again from Omloop to Amstel Gold Race. Which races you win, does not really matter,” he said. “The Tour of Flanders is a goal every year, but I’ve never won. The course is actually the best, but details determine the outcome.”
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