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Greg Van Avermaet was one of three BMC Racing Team riders to star in breakaways on Stage 17. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)
Greg Van Avermaet was one of three BMC Racing Team riders to star in breakaways on Stage 17. (©BMC/Tim de Waele.)

Vuelta, Stage 17: Show Of Aggression

7. September 2011

Peña Cabarga, Spain

The BMC Racing Team animated the Vuelta a España Wednesday by figuring in several breakaways and attacks during the longest stage of this year's race.

Three Appear In Breakaways

First to show the BMC Racing Team colors on the front was Mauro Santambrogio, who was part of a 21-man move. Next, Greg Van Avermaet escaped with five others and was eventually joined by teammate Mathias Frank, who bridged up to the move. Van Avermaet said he was feeling good, but disappointed his group wasn't given more than three minutes' freedom. "It was hoping we could get six or seven minutes because we were riders who were no threat on the GC," he said. "It was a bit strange they closed the gap so early, taking us back on the descent before the final climb." Frank ended the day as the BMC Racing Team's best finisher (58th) as Christopher Froome (Sky Pro Cycling) out-dueled race leader Juan José Cobo (Geox-TMC) on the mountain-top finish to take the stage and pull within 13 seconds of the lead.