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Last Paris-Tours winner, BMC Racing team's Van Avermaet was showing a strong condition before his crash in sunday's race (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Last Paris-Tours winner, BMC Racing team's Van Avermaet was showing a strong condition before his crash in sunday's race (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Gent-Wevelgem: Van Avermaet Involved In Crash

25. March 2012

BMC Racing Team’s Greg Van Avermaet was on his way to finishing Gent-Wevelgem in the first group beside teammate Alessandro Ballan, but he was involved in a crash in Sunday’s classic race.

Make A Selective Race
For the first half of the race, the sprinter’s teams controlled the peloton to catch the seven men in the first break of the day. BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue explained the team had planned to start to move before the first rise of Kemmelberge with 60 kilometers to go in the 235.4 km race. So, Belgian national champion Philippe Gilbert attacked before that climb. “I was feeling better today and I know that between the climbs we can always anticipate and do something, it was my goal." But the peloton stayed on Gilbert’s wheel so Lelangue explained they decided to stop this attack and the BMC Racing Team’s riders went to the front to harden the pace. “We knew we could make a selection from that moment," Lelangue said. "It was better for us to avoid to finish with sprinters as (Mark) Cavendish or (Tyler) Farrar, we needed to make the race more selective."

Van Avermaet Crashes In Final
After the hard work in front by BMC Racing Team’s riders, the peloton split with about 30 km to go, putting many of the sprinters in a second group with Gilbert and Thor Hushovd. “We hesitated to ride with Thor to join the first group, but we were there with sprinters as Cavendish, Farrar and Greipel, and we knew that Greg and Alessandro were in that group so we preferred not to move,” said Gilbert. Van Avermaet and Ballan were in the first group for the last kilometer but when the sprint – eventually won by Tom Boonen (Omaga Pharma-Quick Step) was launched, Van Avermaet was involved in a crash. Lelangue said, “We’ve been unlucky with Greg who crashed in the last kilometer, he was taken down by two other riders, but it’s part of the game and it’s nothing serious. Anyway, Greg and Alessandro showed once more that they have a strong condition for the Classics." Van Avermaet finished 27th and was the best finisher of BMC Racing Team.

Click here to view photos from the race.