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BMC Racing Team's Michael Schär (center) was in the breakaway for nearly the entire race. (©Sirotti.)
BMC Racing Team's Michael Schär (center) was in the breakaway for nearly the entire race. (©Sirotti.)

Van Avermaet Sixth At Strade Bianche

2. March 2013

BMC Racing Team's Greg Van Avermaet finished sixth Saturday at Strade Bianche after teammate Michael Schär initiated a breakaway that was only overtaken in the final kilometer.

Schär Thought Of Ballan
Schär said he wanted to be in the breakaway so much that he rode alone for nearly 15 kilometers at the start of the 188 km race until being joined by three others. Eventually, the four built an 11-minute lead. "All day long I was thinking of Alessandro Ballan because this is one of his races, he is always good here," Schär said of his teammate, who is recovering from a training ride crash in December. "I tried to make him proud. It gave me a lot of motivation." With their lead hovering at a minute with 17 kilometers to go, eventual race winner Moreno Moser (Cannondale Pro Cycling) attacked and bridged to the escapees. Van Avermaet said it was a move he was unable to follow. "When Moser went, I had already covered a lot of attacks from Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan so it was a good moment for him because everybody was a bit blocked there," he said. "I'm happy with my result, though. I think I raced a smart race."

Race Suits Van Avermaet
In four appearances in the semi-classic that traverses white, dusty roads, Van Avermaet has never finished better than his fifth place of last year – but not worse than 14th. "It's a really good race for me," he said "I've never had a crash, never had a puncture. I hope to keep it this way." BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Fabio Baldato said he admired the strength of Schär, who was still attacking in the final kilometers. "Michi was really the man of the day," he said. "We were confident in him because he is so strong and it was a good breakaway. It was also good to have riders like Greg and Cadel (Evans) behind him in the peloton to help keep the pressure on."

Listen to complete comments from Baldato, Schär and Van Avermaet on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line: