'A disappointing end' to Van Avermaet's Classics campaign at Liege-Bastogne-Liege

The decision came after what has been a relatively disappointing 2019 Classics campaign for the 33-year-old, and deciding to prolong his spring racing programme gave him an additional opportunity to score a top result.

Van Avermaet had been in the thick of the action in the closing stages of what was a wet and cold Liège, and found himself in the chasing group close behind the lead group, from which eventual winner Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) made his winning move going over the final climb of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons.

The crash happened on the descent of the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons, and, although Van Avermaet was able to remount and still finish the race – coming home in 52nd place, having only sustained cuts and bruises – he was left disappointed with how his day had ended.

At first, I thought it was a bigger crash, but after a couple of minutes I got back on my bike to try to see how I felt, and some of the initial stiffness went away, which was good," he said.

Team doctor Michel Cerfontaine confirmed that Van Avermaet has appeared not to have done any lasting damage.

Van Avermaet's provisionally unchanged race programme means that he is next set to be seen later this week, attempting to defend his Tour de Yorkshire title in the UK, starting on Thursday, May 2.

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