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Greg Van Avermaet closed his season with his 15th top 10 result. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Greg Van Avermaet closed his season with his 15th top 10 result. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Greg Van Avermaet Sixth At Paris-Tours

7. October 2012

Despite the BMC Racing Team's best efforts to bring it back, a leading trio survived to the finish Sunday at Paris-Tours, spoiling Greg Van Avermaet's hopes for a repeat victory. Instead, the defending champion finished sixth, sprinting from a chase group that finished 12 seconds behind winner Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM).

Good Representation
Eleven riders took advantage of a tailwind to escape early on in the 235.5-kilometer race and stay away until the final 30 km. "We started riding pretty late, but we had to ride because those 11 guys could have made it to the finish," BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said. As the last of the escapees was being reeled in, Marcato and eventual runner-up Laurens De Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) and third-place finisher Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) attacked the peloton. The BMC Racing Team gave chase, with Manuel Quinziato, Adam Blythe, Alessandro Ballan and Van Avermaet all represented. But a crash in the final 12 kilometers gapped Ballan, an attempt to bridge by Blythe with 10 km to go was unsuccessful and Van Avermaet couldn't follow a late counter by fourth-place finisher John Degonkolb (Argos-Shimano) as the gap hovered at 30 seconds in the final kilometers. "Greg was not feeling very good during the race but the more kilometers we did, the better he started feeling," Verbrugghe said. "In the final, he was still there, so he was good enough to do something like last year today – but it wasn't so easy."