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The BMC Racing Team worked hard to keep the race together for the first 25 kilometers. (Photo by Steven Heirwegh.)
The BMC Racing Team worked hard to keep the race together for the first 25 kilometers. (Photo by Steven Heirwegh.)

Van Avermaet Back In The Lead At Wallonie

26. juli 2011

Mouscron, Belgium

By a slim margin, Greg Van Avermaet of the BMC Racing Team regained the overall lead on the penultimate stage of the Tour de Wallonie as teammate Alexander Kristoff finished second on Tuesday's stage.

Tied On Time

Van Avermaet is tied on overall time with previous race leader Joost Van Leijen (Vacansoleil), but earned the yellow jersey by finishing two places better (eighth) than Van Leijen at the finish of the 151-kilometer race won by Robbie McEwen (Team Radioshack). "It's going to be hard to defend, but we have a strong team here," Van Avermaet said. "The guys rode on the front for the first 25 kilometers to keep it together and help me get back the time I needed in the intermediate sprints." Wednesday's final stage is 154 km and includes three ascents of the Mur de Thuin, a steep, half-kilometer cobblestone climb.

Kristoff Best Young Rider
After leading the race after Stage 2, Van Avermaet was one second down entering Tuesday's stage. But he gained five seconds in the three intermediate sprints to four earned by Van Leijen. "We did our best to control the race for those bonification sprints," BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said. Kristoff, who earned the Best Young Rider jersey for the stage, said he received good help in the sprint from Taylor Phinney. "It was kind of hard and a little uphill," Kristoff said. "I knew people would die at the end. I came around a lot of people but McEwen was on Daniele Bennati's wheel and when he faded, it was a perfect leadout for him."