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Philippe Gilbert, right, and Greg Van Avermaet (pictured here in a previous race), were the BMC Racing Team's top two finishers on the opening stage of Ronde van België. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Philippe Gilbert, right, and Greg Van Avermaet (pictured here in a previous race), were the BMC Racing Team's top two finishers on the opening stage of Ronde van België. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Ronde van België, Stage 1: Staying Safe

22. May 2013

The BMC Racing Team's mission to stay safe and not lose time on the opening stage of Ronde van België Wednesday was a success, Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois said.

Rain Expected For Thursday
World road champion Philippe Gilbert, in 13th place, was the BMC Racing Team's best finisher on the 194.2-kilometer stage that ended with a bunch sprint won by André Greipel (Lotto Belisol Team). Ledanois said an early breakaway of four riders who posed no threat to the overall was a good situation. They were reeled in with 25 km to go. "For the final, we had Greg (Van Avermaet) and Philippe in good position thanks to help from guys like Marcus Burghardt and Manuel Quinziato," he said. "So it was a good job and good work. Tomorrow is different because we are expecting bad weather, with rain. So that will be a better stage for us, and especially Philippe and Greg." Van Avermaet, who is the BMC Racing Team's other hopeful for the general classification, agreed Thursday's 178.8 km stage will be much different. "There was a little bit of wind today so we tried some things in the crosswinds," he said, "but in the end, nothing happened. The race will really start tomorrow and then with the time trial (Stage 3 on Friday)."