The Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (Ag2r Citrôen), Olympic champion in Rio’2016, has decided to postpone the Covid 19 booster vaccine until after the spring classics, since he considers that the 2021 injection was to blame for his poor performance in the season. Van Avermaet (Lokeren, 36 years old), has made the decision with the purpose of arriving in shape for the spring classics campaign, avoiding any post-vaccination affectation.

The star of the French team said that he still plans to get booster shot but thinks last year’s covid shot was to blame of his disappointing second half of the season. In his final phase of his professional career, Van Avermaet would rather risk postponing his third vaccination than ruin his chances in the classics where he’s aiming for victories.

“Especially in the second half of the 2021 season things didn’t go the way I wanted. I blame my vaccination. Since then, I didn’t race at a high level anymore”, said Van Avermaet at Het Nieuwsblad. In 2021 Van Avermaet got vaccinated just before the Dauphiné, after a tough training period and it was “not a good idea” for him.

“Normally I always fight for a place in the top 10 and sometimes I opt for victory, but in the Tour I even had a hard time in the peloton. I wanted to leave, but the team wanted him to continue to help Ben O’Connor. My blood values ​​were not at the same level as the tests showed in the fall and my body was fighting something. So, I’m not that interested in this new injection right now. I will have it after the classics, I think it is the best option.” Van Avemart hopes to return to his best level in the season that is about to start. “I’m a year older, but I think I can still do well and I’m still training hard every day.”


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