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Greg Van Avermaet won his first race of the year and the seventh of the season for the BMC Racing Team. (©Sandro Zangrando.)
Greg Van Avermaet won his first race of the year and the seventh of the season for the BMC Racing Team. (©Sandro Zangrando.)

Tour of Austria, Stage 6: Victory for Van Avermaet

8. July 2011

Bruck an der Leith, Austria

Greg Van Avermaet sprinted to his first victory for the BMC Racing Team Friday, winning out of a 13-man breakaway on a wind-whipped day at the Tour of Austria.

Break Survives By Six Seconds

"I am really happy. It's been a long year for me," Van Avermaet said. "I think it was two years ago that I last won a race. I'm really happy to do it in the BMC Racing Team jersey, too. I'm pleased that I can give something back to the BMC Racing Team." Van Avermaet said he didn't know if the break would survive to the finish. After the lead peaked at four minutes with 100 kilometers to go in the 155 km race, it was down to 25 seconds with four kilometers left. "I wasn't sure about (Daniele) Bennati because he's a really strong sprinter," Van Avermaet said. "He went with 300 meters to go and I tried to catch his wheel. In the end I was a little bit faster." Matthew Brammeier (HTC-Highroad) finished second while Bennati (Leopard Trek) was third.

Santambrogio Still Second Overall
With his first victory since Stage 9 of the 2008 Vuelta a España, Van Avermaet also took the lead in the points classification. Earlier in the week, he wore the King of the Mountains jersey for two stages and teammate Mauro Santambrogio holds down second overall to Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) with two stages to go. "Greg has been knocking on the door all year and he really deserved to win today," BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Michael Sayers said. "We have a really good team here and we're proving we can compete in two races at the same time and get results." Saturday's stage is a 30.1 km time trial. Santambrogio trails Kessiakoff by 78 seconds.