Van Avermaet Sets His Sights on Paris-Roubaix Defense5. April 2018, Santa Rosa, California (USA) — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet will return to the start line of Paris-Roubaix as the defending champion after claiming the first Monument win of his career and in BMC Racing Team’s history in 2017.
Sports Director Fabio Baldato said the team takes confidence out of their performance at the Tour of Flanders.
“It is a good feeling to be lining up at Paris-Roubaix with the defending champion in our team. We have seen that Greg Van Avermaet is strong in the classics this year and although we haven’t managed to get a win, we are confident ahead of Paris-Roubaix. At the Tour of Flanders, we saw the best performance from a team perspective and all of our riders are motivated to help Greg as much as possible on Sunday. The team remains largely unchanged with the exception of Nathan Van Hooydonck, who is coming back from illness and will replace Alberto Bettiol."
"Paris-Roubaix is the most unpredictable race of the classics and as we have seen in previous years, anything can happen at any moment of the race. We need to be attentive and intelligent in the way we race and by doing this, I am confident that we can produce a good result with Greg as our leader."
Van Avermaet is relishing the opportunity to race with number one on his back.
“It is a really special feeling to be lining up as the defending champion at Paris-Roubaix. I’ve felt good and confident in my shape the whole classics season but things haven’t fallen into place yet. Paris-Roubaix is completely different to the Belgian classics. As much as you need the legs, you need some luck, to stay safe and avoid punctures. Last year I had some bad luck but I managed to completely change my situation,” Van Avermaet said.
“I was really happy with the team at the Tour of Flanders and we will give it everything we have on Sunday to defend my title. It was amazing last year because I wasn’t expecting to win but I did it. I’m capable of winning again so we will see how far I come.”
Paris-Roubaix (8 April)
Rider Roster: Jempy Drucker (LUX), Stefan Küng (SUI), Jürgen Roelandts (BEL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Francisco Ventoso (ESP).
Sports Directors: Fabio Baldato (ITA), Klaas Lodeywck (BEL)