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Greg Van Avermaet had time to celebrate his victory on the opening stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. (©Casey B. Gibson, www.cbgphoto.com.)
Greg Van Avermaet had time to celebrate his victory on the opening stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah. (©Casey B. Gibson, www.cbgphoto.com.)

BMC Racing Team's Van Avermaet Wins Tour of Utah Opener

7. augustus 2013

With a move reminiscent of teammate Taylor Phinney at the Tour de Pologne last week, BMC Racing Team's Greg Van Avermaet put in a vicious attack in the final kilometer and held off the charging peloton to win Tuesday's opening stage of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.

'Tried To Do It Differently'
Van Avermaet had a small gap rounding the final corner – 600 meters from the finish of the 180-kilometer race – and held it all the way to the line to take the victory, the race lead and the XO Communications sprint leader's jersey. "I saw the finish yesterday and it wasn't such a great finish for me because it was downhill," Van Avermaet said. "I thought guys like (Michael) Matthews could beat me. So I tried to do it differently and went in the last kilometer. It was already hard and I attacked. I came into the last corner with a gap and then I was just pedaling to finish and hoping they wouldn't come over. I'm happy that I won." Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) finished second and Ty Magner (Hincapie Sportswear Development Team) was third. Van Avermaet's win was his fourth of the season, adding to a pair of stage wins and the overall title at the Tour de Wallonie last month. It also continued a string of wins by the BMC Racing Team – 10 in the past six weeks and 20 for the season overall.

Keep Going For Stage Wins
Van Avermaet said his winning move was planned – and inspired by Phinney's solo attack in Poland that was from much farther out but equally as successful. "You can have the plan, but sometimes it's hard to work out," Van Avermaet said. "But the team was riding well on the circuits and it worked out in the last kilometer." Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said Van Avermaet executed the day's plan to perfection. "We knew if there was a lull in the speed where he could get away, Greg can always hold an amazing amount of power for at least 800 meters," he said. "Basically, he sniffed it out and that's what he decided to do in the end." Van Avermaet earned a 10-second time bonus for the win and leads Matthews and Chris Jones (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) by four seconds. But with 3,010 meters of climbing ahead in Wednesday's 210-km stage, his time in the yellow jersey might be limited. "It's going to be hard for me to take the GC (general classification)," Van Avermaet said. "We have a couple of good guys like Steve Cummings and Yannick Eijssen, who are going really good uphill. It's always good, though, to start a stage race with a victory. Hopefully, we can get some other ones."

Listen to Van Avermaet's complete comments on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.