Greg Van Avermaet to lead BMC Racing at opening Spring Classics weekend
Classics champion Greg Van Avermaet will ride both of the opening Spring Classics of the season, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne this weekend
The Olympic champion is ready to test his shape in the opening weekend of the Classics. "With Greg Van Avermaet in the team we have a clear leader and a strong captain for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad," said Sports Director Valerio Piva.
"Greg is coming in with good condition as we saw in Oman and he is definitely motivated to win again. We have a very experienced team around Greg and have multiple cards to play depending on the evolution of the race."
BMC also has other strong riders that can show themselves at the Omloop. "Jürgen Roelandts showed he is in good condition at the Volta ao Algarve and he will also be a protected rider. We expect Jürgen to be there with Greg in the finale and riders like Stefan Küng and Jempy Drucker can jump in dangerous moves," he added.
"The course has changed this year and the final part of the race is harder than in previous editions and more suited to Greg. With the Muur and the Bosberg in the final 20km, I think it will be more selective and we will see more attacking. With the defending champion on our team, everyone will be looking at us to control the race and we are not afraid to take responsibility."
For Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, Van Avermaet will also captain the roster, but the team has several options for the finale. "Greg will also be our leader for Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and although it is more of a sprinter's race, he has performed well in the past," commented Sports Director Klaas Lodewyck. "Alberto Bettiol and Jürgen Roelandts are also lining up and both have shown good form in recent races which give us different options depending on the situation."
"Although Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne often finishes in a bunch sprint, the past two years have seen small groups go to the finish so anything can happen and we will be ready to adapt as the race progresses. With the team we have, I think we can finish the weekend with a good result."
Van Avermaet is looking forward to starting the season in his country. "I'm really happy that we are now at my first goal of the season and I'm really well prepared," he affirmed. "Everything went well up until now so I'm looking forward to trying to win again. The shape is there so I just have to have some luck with the race situation."
"If everything goes well then I will be there in the finale and hopefully I can win. It's a nice finish. I also like the one before because I won on it twice but this year it will be harder. It's the old Tour of Flanders final so it will be cool to race there and putting the Muur and the Bosberg back in a Classic is always a good idea."
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (24th of February):
Greg Van Avermaet
Nathan Van Hooydonck
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (25th of February):
Greg Van Avermaet