"When I came back, I just wanted hang on as long as possible" - Greg Van Avermaet 7th in his Unbound debut despite two punctures

Greg Van Avermaet made his debut in the Unbound Gravel 200 on Saturday, racing to seventh place, 4:47 behind winner Lachlan Morton (former pro with EF Education-EasyPost). The retired WorldTour road star had mixed feelings after making the lead group only to puncture and have to chase back on twice.

"I could have been better," Van Avermaet told Cyclingnews after finishing seventh in his debut at Unbound Gravel 200. "I had two flats really early, so it was really annoying because you see the peloton in front of you and you know that they are saving a little bit, especially the favourites, and you're there alone, chasing back. That's annoying. But it's like it is. That killed my race, I think."

"It's better that you have a flat, actually, when the race goes open, then you can at least go from group to group," Van Avermaet said. "And when I came back, I just said to myself, 'Just hang on as long as possible'. I remember even thinking to do some attacks."

After 9 hours, 16 minutes and 34 seconds of gravel-pounding, full-gas racing across the Flint Hills of Kansas, Van Avermaet was asked if he would return next year. He laughed, saying, "That's not the best moment to ask that, I think. If you ask everybody now, the answer is always going to be 'no'."

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