Defending champion Van Avermaet and Ballan to spearhead BMC Racing Team at Paris-Tours
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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Defending champion Van Avermaet and Ballan to spearhead BMC Racing Team at Paris-Tours

by VeloNation Press at 7:55 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Tours
American team determined ahead of tomorrow’s semi-Classic

Greg Van AvermaetHampered a little by illness in the build-up to the race, Belgian rider Greg Van Avermaet is nevertheless aiming to successfully defend his title in tomorrow’s Paris-Tours. Last year he broke clear with Marco Marcato and outsprinted him to the line, landing one of the biggest wins of his career.

This season, he has been banging on the door of a victory but is yet to top the podium. His closest results were second in both the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and the Grand Prix de Wallonie, plus fourth in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen. They are all big races, showing that he’s strong enough to earn som e champagne, but things haven’t quite clicked yet.

Time is running out before the end of the season and the cold he had recently stopped him from starting Tuesday’s Binche-Tournai-Binche, but he said earlier this race his form was on the up again.

“I'm recovering well from my sickness,” he said. “I went out Wednesday for a few hours and felt much better than I did Monday and Tuesday. But I still don't have the same power in my legs yet.” A couple of days later, he should be in a better position, and will be highly motivated tomorrow.

Van Avermaet will be joined by former world champion Alessandro Ballan, plus Binche-Tournai-Binche winner Adam Blythe, Brent Bookwalter, Yannick Eijssen, Manuel Quinziato, Michael Schär and Larry Warbasse. It means that the Belgian will have strong backing, but also that others will also be in a position to step forward if required.

“We'll have a real offensive team with Alessandro and Greg, who can both do something good in the final,” said BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe. “And if it comes down to a real field sprint, we have Adam.”

BMC Racing Team for Paris-Tours:

Alessandro Ballan (ITA), Adam Blythe (GBR), Brent Bookwalter (USA), Yannick Eijssen (BEL), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Larry Warbasse (USA)


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