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Greg Van Avermaet Sprints to Victory in 2011 Paris-Tours

News & Results

10/9/2011| 0 comments
by Thomas A. Valentinsen

Greg Van Avermaet Sprints to Victory in 2011 Paris-Tours

Team BMC Racing's Greg Van Avermaet secured his first classics victory by winning the 2011 Paris-Tours race earlier this afternoon in a two man sprint against Team Vacansoleil's Marco Marcato.

Team BMC Racing's Greg Van Avermaet secured his first classics victory by winning the 2011 Paris-Tours race earlier this afternoon in a two man sprint against Team Vacansoleil's Marco Marcato.

Van Avermaet built the foundation for his race victory when he made a decisive split of nearly two dozen riders with fifty kilometers left of the 230.5 kilometer race in France.

When Marcato attacked on the Côte de Beau Soleil with about ten kilometers to go, only Van Avermaet proved able to follow. The two quickly overtook solo leader Arnaud Gerard (FDJ), who had attacked earlier, and built a twenty-second lead over a seemingly disorganized chase group.

Onto the finishing straight of the Avenue de Grammont in Tours, Van Avermaet was able to follow Marcato's wheel until starting his sprint with about 200 meters to go.

"I'm really good at sprinting after a long hard race and so is he, but in the end I was stronger," Van Avermaet told Roadcycling.com and Roadcycling.mobi after the race finish and continued "I was happy he was working very well in the end. We decided to go full out to the finish and then see who was the fastest in the sprint."

"The team did a really good job and we tried to make the whole race really hard and control the race the whole day," Van Avermaet added.

Van Avermaet's previous best finish in Paris-Tours came in 2009 when he finished 14th while helping then (and future) teammate Philippe Gilbert take the win.

Tea BMC Racing sports director John Lelangue said he hatched a plan to split the race in the crosswinds just after the feed zone with 115 kilometer to go.

"When I passed the feed zone and saw the soigneur with all seven musettes still in his hands, I said to our mechanic that it was a good sign that we were all going for it. We had our entire team in the first group of fifty and from then on we were going in all the counters and all the groups and Greg was in a good one. It was a good way to finish the classics season."

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