BMC Racing Team’s Olympic Champions Team Up at Liège-Bastogne-Liège20. April 2017, Santa Rosa, California (USA) — Road Team
BMC Racing Team’s two Olympic Road Race champions, Samuel Sánchez (2008) and Greg Van Avermaet (2016), will line up for the first time together this year at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, on Sunday, 23 April.
Sánchez and Van Avermaet will be joined by Dylan Teuns, whose breakthrough podium result at La Flèche Wallonne has earned him a position as a protected rider, Sports Director Valerio Piva said.
“Samuel Sánchez is our main leader at Liège-Bastogne-Liège as the course is well-suited to him and he has produced some good results in the past, including fourth last year. Greg Van Avermaet has enjoyed the best spring of his career and is definitely capable of getting a top ten result, and now we have seen that Dylan Teuns is in top shape, so these three riders are our protected riders for the race,” Piva explained.
“We are not the favorite team for Liège-Bastogne-Liège but we have a strong team and we will try to do our best. It’s the last race of the Classics season and all of our riders are motivated.”
Sánchez is confident after making his return to racing at La Flèche Wallonne.
“I had good feelings at La Flèche Wallonne. I raced cautiously and in the final my legs were not too bad. For me, it was the perfect test to arrive in top condition for Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I think we have a super strong team with Dylan Teuns, Greg Van Avermaet and myself, as we have a lot of possibilities. The parcours has changed and it is slightly easier than last year. There are a lot of strong competitors but I think we are capable of getting a good result,” Sánchez said.
Van Avermaet will race at Liège-Bastogne-Liège for the first time since 2013.
“It’s nice to finish what has been a great Classics season with one last race in Belgium before I move onto the next part of the season. I’m definitely not lining up as the favorite but I have recovered well since Amstel Gold Race and I’m motivated to get a good result. We’ll see how the race plays out and see what we can do as a team on the day. Anything can happen at these races,” Van Avermaet added.
Hermans Ruled Out of Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Ben Hermans has been ruled out of racing after sustaining two broken ribs in a crash after the finish line at La Flèche Wallonne.
“Ben Hermans crashed after the finish line at La Flèche Wallonne and X-Rays taken this morning have revealed a fracture of the fifth and six interior ribs. Ben is unable to start at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and will require some easy days on the bike. We will continue to monitor his recovery and make the necessary adaptions to his racing program,” BMC Racing Team doctor, Dr. Michel Cerfontaine said.
Hermans is hoping to make a fast recovery and be back racing as soon as his injuries allow.
“It’s not healthy to race with two broken ribs and we don’t want to take the risks, so although it’s disappointing to miss Liège-Bastogne-Liège, it is the best thing to do. The team will begin planning a new race schedule for me now based on my recovery, and I’ll revise my goals for the season if necessary,” Hermans explained.
Liège-Bastogne-Liège (23 April)
Rider Roster: Damiano Caruso (ITA), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Floris Gerts (NED), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Samuel Sánchez (ESP), Michael Schär (SUI), Dylan Teuns (BEL), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).
Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Jackson Stewart (USA).