BMC Racing Team’s Greg Van Avermaet took his first victory of the season Friday with an uphill surge on the cobblestoned finish climb of the Muur van Geraardsbergen on Stage 5 at the Eneco Tour of Benelux.
‘A Great Feeling’
Van Avermaet said a combination of strong teamwork and a course that suited his strengths led to his two-second win over Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant-Shimano) and Pavel Brutt (Team Katusha). “It is a great feeling for me to finally get a win this year,” he said. “It is a very nice win for me and for the team and today’s course was perfect. I have known it from when I was young, which is a big advantage.” Dumoulin took the race lead by two seconds over Lars Boom (Belkin Pro Cycling) while BMC Racing Team’s Manuel Quinziato finished 20th and remains third overall, 11 seconds back, with two days of the race to go.
Help From Teammates
BMC Racing Team’s Silvan Dillier, Philippe Gilbert and Quinziato set the stage for the win by taking turns leading the chase of two breakaway riders and attacking and covering attacks in the final kilometers of the 162.5-km race. Gilbert finished 10th, six seconds back of Van Avermaet, and is 11th overall, 28 seconds off the lead. Van Avermaet, who moved into eighth overall, said he knew if he could get a gap on the climb he would be hard to catch. “I didn’t want to look behind me because I thought someone would come,” he said. “It was difficult to choose the correct gear and I didn’t know if I was going fast enough. So I kept sprinting until the finish.”
Make The Race Hard
Van Avermaet’s victory was his first since Stage 1 last year at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah and was the BMC Racing Team’s 22nd of the season. BMC Racing Team Sporting Manager Allan Peiper said the goal going in was to make the race as hard as possible. “It didn’t matter who won, as long as one of us won,” he said. “It was a team effort. That is really where it paid off in the final. Dillier was out there on the last lap, making it hard and making Giant and Belkin chase. On the final climb, it was a perfect effort from Quinziato and Gilbert, who had Van Avermaet behind then when Greg went and took a gap and got the win.”
Listen to complete comments from Peiper and Van Avermaet (in English and Flemish) on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line: