Van Avermaet Victorious at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad27. February 2016, Ghent (BEL) — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet has kicked off the Belgian Classics with winning form, clinching victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad today in a nail-biting sprint to the line.
It is Van Avermaet’s first win of the season, and he couldn’t be happier to do it on home soil he said.
“It was really important for me to win the first Classics race of the season. I’m happy that I could finally win a Classic like this because I was close a few times here and I know how hard it is to win a Classic in the springtime.”
“You never know how many victories you’re going to have so I’m of course going to enjoy this one and hopefully I’ll have more to come. Beating Sagan in a sprint like this only gives me more confidence.”
“My main goal is still the Tour of Flanders and to have this win already in my pocket is the best way to start the season.”
A 12 rider breakaway attacked early in the 200km opening race of the Spring Classics, gaining 5’30 on the peloton as they reached the second half of the race.
With 57km to go Luke Rowe (Team SKY) attacked with Van Avermaet immediately in pursuit. The pair eventually formed a small group of four riders who would go on to catch the breakaway and battle it out for the win.
Van Avermaet edged out Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) in the sprint to the line.
“I’ve always believed in my ability to outsprint the fast guys especially after a long, hard race. When I was second and third I was always saying to myself that I could beat them when things go perfectly. And today’s victory confirmed this I think.”
“You have to keep believing in yourself and one day it will come true.”
A Day of Mixed Results
It was a day of elation with Van Avermaet’s win but also disappointment for Philippe Gilbert, Floris Gerts and Jempy Drucker who were involved in a nasty crash at the 50km to go mark.
The trio were forced to abandon and Drucker and Gerts were taken to hospital to have X-Rays.
BMC Racing Team Doctor Dario Spinelli said “At this stage we have no further news of their condition. As soon as we know the results of their X-Rays we will be able to provide an update and assess the next steps.”
Moinard Sixth at Classic Sud Ardeche
BMC Racing Team also lined up in France today at the Classic Sud Ardeche, where Amaël Moinard finished in sixth place in the one-day race.
It was a day for the climbers with a series of tough climbs right to the finish line. A breakaway spent most of the day away, before the peloton reeled them back as they approached the final climbs of the day.
A group of 12 riders battled it out for the win with Petr Vakoc (Etixx-Quickstep) crossing the line first.
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