Van Avermaet satisfied with fourth in Paris-Roubaix, Hushovd rues bad luck
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Van Avermaet satisfied with fourth in Paris-Roubaix, Hushovd rues bad luck

by Shane Stokes at 1:54 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Paris-Roubaix
Belgian rider best of BMC Racing Team in prestigious Classic

Greg Van AvermaetGreg Van Avermaet continued his strong spring campaign by narrowly missing out on a podium finish in Paris-Roubaix today, the Belgian rider netting fourth in the cobblestone Classic.

The BMC Racing Team rider was one of the strongest in the race but just missed out on the vital move. “I had a good feeling I could do well here after Flanders. So it was a good decision to do this race,” he said afterwards. “[When the move went] it was Cancellara and Stybar…Gaudin was in between me and he took a corner really bad and lost two meters. I tried to catch them and came to one meter but I just couldn't close it.

“I stayed there a little while. If you're not in the wheel and you are in the wind, you are killing yourself. With 300 metres to go on the cobblestones, I didn’t make it and went back to the group.”

Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) and Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma Quick Step) closed up to the leaders Sep Vanmarcke (Blanco Pro Cycling) and Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma Quick Step). Both of the Omega riders had mishaps with spectators which took them out of the move, leaving just two out of those four fighting it out for victory in the Roubaix velodrome.

Cancellara beat Vanmarcke in a tight sprint, while Terpstra edged out Van Avermaet and Damien Gaudin (Team Europcar) for third. The BMC Racing Team rider was not happy with the latter.

“Everybody was a little bit f**ed, I think. I went with three guys for a sprint, it was just the strongest who wins,” he said. “It is a bit sad that Terpstra took it as he was not pulling so much the whole race and in the end he was there. It was a bit disappointing not to take third, but in Roubaix so much can happen. So I’m happy I could make it in the top five.”

Van Avermaet’s result follows on from other strong placings this spring such as third at Gent-Wevelgem, fifth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, sixth at Strade Bianche and seventh at the Tour of Flanders. It is his highest finish in Paris-Roubaix to date.

Van Avermaet was originally expected by some to play a supporting role to Thor Hushovd and Taylor Phinney, but he ended up faring better than both of them. Hushovd had finished second and third in the past, but was hit by some very bad luck today and lost out as a result.

“I felt really good but first I had to change my bike and it was hard to come back,” he explained. “Just when I came back, I had a flat, then I had another flat and then I had a crash. I had to fight to come back to the front four times.

“I think that put me in the red a little bit, but I was still there. When they went hard once I went all kind of flat. So it's another disappointing day for me.”

Hushovd can take some encouragement from the fact that his form appears to be arriving. However he’s not sure what he will do next. “First I have to decide my race programme,” he said. A little longer term, he has a target in mind. “I would like to do the Tour de France to help the team. I will see if I can get selected for the squad.”


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