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Greg Van Avermaet was part of a 10-man breakaway that eventually dwindled to five late in the race. (©Rui Quinta)
Greg Van Avermaet was part of a 10-man breakaway that eventually dwindled to five late in the race. (©Rui Quinta)

Volta ao Algarve, Stage 4: Van Avermaet's Escape

18. February 2012

Tavira, Portugal

Greg Van Avermaet's gamble to go with a 10-man breakaway Saturday at the Volta ao Algarve came up two kilometers short of paying off for the BMC Racing Team rider.

'Went Full Out All Day'

Van Avermaet, who finished second on Stage 1, said he put all of his energy into the escape that never led by more than three minutes, but held off the charging pack for more than 160 of the 186.3 km race. "I put all my energy into going in the breakaway because I thought it was a strong group," he said. "We went full out all day so it's disappointing when they caught us with two kilometers to go. I was only going for the win. It's more important to have a victory than a top 10."  BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said the course map favored the break because the final 50 km were on narrow, twisting roads. "You never know what's going to happen," he said. "I think Greg was one of the fastest guys in the group, too. This will be good training for him for the upcoming races." Gerald Ciolek (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) won a bunch sprint as Richie Porte (Sky Pro Cycling) held onto the overall lead.