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Greg Van Avermaet was the BMC Racing Team's best rider of the race's opening stage, friday (©BMC/Tim De Waele)
Greg Van Avermaet was the BMC Racing Team's best rider of the race's opening stage, friday (©BMC/Tim De Waele)

World Ports Classic, Stage 1: Fast Start

31. August 2012

BMC Racing Team's Adam Blythe and Greg Van Avermaet finished in the front group on a fast opening stage Friday at the World Ports Classic. 



Van Avermaet Finishes 13th

 

The BMC Racing Team would have had a third rider, Marcus Burghardt, in the front group at the finish, but he suffered a flat tire as high speeds, rain and strong crosswinds sliced the peloton into pieces. "The wind was really perfect to make a hard race with a lot of echelons," BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said. "I told the guys to be in the front after 20 kilometers because that's where the race really began. Directly after that, the peloton broke into four groups, with some splits. At one moment there were seven or eight groups on the road. It was like that the whole day." Van Avermaet finished 13th while Blythe was 35th, both in the same time as Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). Blythe said he had nothing left at the end of the 201-kilometer stage. "It was hard, very hard," he said. "I think we averaged 50 kph. There were always groups forming. I had a little problem in the end with some cramps. I tried to do a sprint but my legs just wouldn't work." Verbrugghe said Saturday's final stage, a 163 km race from Antwerp back to Rotterdam, will different. "It should be better weather and no wind," he said. "Normally, it will be a bunch sprint."