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Greg Van Amermaet finished fourth for the BMC Racing Team. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Greg Van Amermaet finished fourth for the BMC Racing Team. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

BMC Racing Team's Van Avermaet Fourth At Paris-Roubaix

7. April 2013

Greg Van Avermaet added to his string of top 10 placings for the BMC Racing Team this spring with a career-best fourth place Sunday in a dust-choked edition of Paris-Roubaix.

Edged Out For Podium Position
A late addition to the team's roster for the 254.5-kilometer race along narrow, cobblestoned roads, Van Avermaet was narrowly edged out of a podium position by Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). Van Avermaet, Terpstra and fifth-place finisher Damien Gaudin (Team Europcar) finished 31 seconds after Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard) out-sprinted Sep VanMarcke (Blanco Pro Cycling Team) in Roubaix's outdoor velodrome to win the race for the third time. Van Avermaet's solid spring season includes third at Gent-Wevelgem, fifth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, sixth at Strade Bianche and seventh at the Tour of Flanders. "I had a good feeling I could do well here after Flanders," he said. "So it was a good decision to do this race." Van Avermaet's result capped a day for the BMC Racing Team that saw Michael Schär in a breakaway, Taylor Phinney lead the peloton through the Arenberg forest and Thor Hushovd riding in the front group until a string of misfortune.

Couldn't Close The Gap
As the race split into pieces and several small groups formed at the front, Van Avermaet found himself marking and matching each one. But when Cancellara and Zdenek Sybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) attacked in the last 25 km, Van Avermaet was caught in traffic. "Gaudin was in between and he took a corner really bad and lost two meters," Van Avermaet said. "I tried to catch them and came to one meter but couldn't close it. If you're not in the wheel and you are in the wind, you are killing yourself." BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Fabio Baldato said he was proud of Van Avermaet's best result in five starts at Roubaix. "It was really a tremendous day with some really bad luck," he said. "But we were close to reaching our goals. I'm proud of what the guys did today. Everybody was being a good teammate."

Phinney Felt Good Early
Phinney, who finished 23rd, said after feeling good through the first 200 kilometers,  things began to unravel on the 10th-to-last of the 27 sectors of cobblestones. "I was maybe feeling a bit too good," he said. "I think I got a bit excited. I never had any bad luck or any crashes. But when I needed to have the big kick to stay with the front group on Mons-en-Pévèle, I didn't have it. That was too bad." Hushovd, who finished his 10th edition of the race (in 13 starts) in 35th place, said he was the victim of some bad luck. "I felt really good but I had to change my bike and it was hard to get back," he said. "Just when I came back, I had a flat, then another flat and then I had a crash. I had to fight to come back to the front four times. 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."

Click here to listen to complete comments from Baldato, Hushovd, BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz and Van Avermaet (in Dutch, English and French) on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.