Bunch Sprint in Belgium at Primus Classic Impanis Van Petegam17. September 2016, Boortmeerbeek (BEL) — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet made multiple attempts to claim the win at Primus Classic Impanis Van Petegem in Belgium, where a bunch sprint eventually played out won by Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep).
The 200km one-day classic, which Van Avermaet won in 2014, was his first race in Belgium since becoming Olympic Champion and saw a warm welcome extended to the Belgian champion before the start, including a visit from the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel.
A 3-rider breakaway went clear and later became a 6-rider group when three riders bridged the gap. With 65km to go the group’s advantage had reduced to 1’50” before the peloton brought them back 34km before the finish line.
Van Avermaet was part of a group that then attacked and established a 28 second lead, following which the race came back together with 8km to go to set the stage for the bunch sprint.
Despite solid teamwork which put Van Avermaet in a good position with 3km remaining, and a last minute attempt by Van Avermaet, he was unable to challenge for the sprint.
Quotes from the Finish line:
Greg Van Avermaet:
“It was hard but the team put me in a good position. I think I opened up the race where it needed to be opened and then we were with a strong group on the front but we didn’t work too much together. The peloton was pretty strong and the parcours was a bit too flat to make it to the finish but we tried. I think we did everything that we could do. Sometimes you stay in the front and you can win the race. But today it all came back together and we didn’t have a big result but we did what we could do and that’s the most important thing.”
Primus Classic Impanis Van Petegem
Brakel > Boortmeerbeek (200.4km)
Top 3: Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep), Timothy Dupont (Verandas Willems Cycling Team), Max Richeze (Etixx-QuickStep).