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George Hincapie is one of three former Gent-Wevelgem winners who will take the start for the BMC Racing Team. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
George Hincapie is one of three former Gent-Wevelgem winners who will take the start for the BMC Racing Team. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Past Champions Among BMC Racing Team's Gent-Wevelgem Roster

23. marzo 2012

Three former winners of Gent-Wevelgem will take the start line for the BMC Racing Team for Sunday's 74th edition of the famed Belgian classic.

Hushovd Improving
Past Gent-Wevelgem champions Marcus Burghardt (2007), George Hincapie (2001) and Thor Hushovd (2006) will be joined by Alessandro Ballan, Philippe Gilbert, Taylor Phinney, Michael Schär and Greg Van Avermaet for the 235.4-kilometer race. BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said the plan is to protect Ballan, who was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher (eighth) Friday at E3-Harelbeke, as well as Van Avermaet and Hushovd – who did not finish E3-Harelbeke, his first race back after missing Milan-San Remo due to sickness. "Thor is improving each day," Lelangue said. "Even though this race could suit him well, we won't put all the pressure on him."

Gilbert Without Energy
Gilbert, who also did not finish Friday's race, has been plagued by a tooth infection the past few weeks, said BMC Racing Team Doctor Giovanni Ruffini. "It's drawn on his reserves and prevented him from eating well, which has resulted in a sudden weight loss," Ruffini said. "This may explain his lack of energy." The Belgian champion said at E3-Harelbeke he was already in difficulty at La Houppe, the second of the race's 13 climbs. "I suddenly felt empty and had no more energy," Gilbert said. Lelangue said despite the health issues, the BMC Racing Team did not consider removing Gilbert from the Gent-Wevelgem roster.

Click here to download the official BMC Racing Team Race Card (PDF with roster, statistics, bios, etc.).

BMC Racing Team Gent-Wevelgem Roster (March 25):
Alessandro Ballan (ITA), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), George Hincapie (USA), Thor Hushovd (NOR), Taylor Phinney (USA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).

Directeur Sportif:
John Lelangue (BEL)

Doctor:
Giovanni Ruffini (ITA)

Press Officer:
Blandine Roquelet (FRA)

Staff:
Bus Driver: Filip Sercu (BEL). Mechanics: Jürgen Landrie (BEL), Nick Mondelaers (BEL), Nick Vandecauter (BEL). Soigneurs: Bernd Coutteau (BEL), Dirk Leenaert (BEL), Freddy Viaene (BEL), Chris De Vos (BEL).