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Greg Van Avermaet registered the BMC Racing Team's fourth straight top 10 finish. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Greg Van Avermaet registered the BMC Racing Team's fourth straight top 10 finish. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Paris-Nice, Stage 5: Van Avermaet Eighth

13. March 2014

BMC Racing Team's Greg Van Avermaet finished eighth Thursday at Paris-Nice as a three-man breakaway held on to dash the peloton's hopes for a field sprint.

The Course:
Four categorized climbs – the last cresting the course with 12.5 kilometers to go – dotted the 153-km route from Creche-sur-Saone to Rive-de-Gier.

The Day's Breakaway:
Five riders slipped the peloton after 17 km: Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Matthew Busche (Trek Factory Racing), Sylvain Chavanel (IAM Cycling), Brice Feillu (Bretagne-Seche Environnement) and Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar Team). But their advantage never topped three minutes and the last of them was brought back on the final climb.

A Late Escape:
After a reduced peloton topped the last climb together, three riders attacked: Carlos Betancur (AG2R La Mondiale), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) and Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing). The trio built a 10-second lead and held off the chase by two seconds as Betancur took the win ahead of Jungels. Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar) won the bunch sprint.

In The Overall Standings:
Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) kept the overall lead, three seconds ahead of John Degenkolb (Team Giant-Shimano) and four seconds in front of Stage 4 winner Tom-Jelte Slagter (Garmin-Sharp). Peter Velits is the BMC Racing Team's best-placed rider in 15th, 19 seconds back, with three stages to go.

What Van Avermaet Said:
"It was quite a hard stage – always up and down. I tried to stay up there in the first group, which I did, and I did a good sprint. I am happy with the result. I was a little bit disappointed yesterday because I thought I could make it (up the last climb). But today, I was there, which was important. It was the whole day suffering and a good day of training. I am confident for the next days."

What Sport Director Yvon Ledanois Said:
"Peter Velits has confirmed that he has the legs for tomorrow. And the day after that is also very hard. Today, I had three riders – Greg, Amaël Moinard and Peter Stetina – who were perfect for the final. It is always important to have two or three riders in one group with the leader, so I am happy with today. Now, we will take it stage-by-stage for the GC (general classification)."

See photos from the race on the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.

Click here to listen to complete comments from Ledanois and Van Avermaet on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.