News – Van Avermaet Wins As Hushovd Retires


BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet wins Primus Classic Impanis-Van Petegem Saturday as teammate and former world road champion Thor Hushovd competed in his final race to close a 15-year professional career.

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News – Van Avermaet Wins As Hushovd Retires

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Van Avermaet earned his second win in four days by surviving from what was a 10-man breakaway that formed 20 kilometers into the 196.6-km race in Belgium. The escapees enjoyed a nearly six-minute advantage before a small chase group threatened to make the catch inside the final kilometers.

Van Avermaet out-sprinted four other survivors from the original breakaway to win ahead of Tosh van der Sande (Lotto-Belisol) and Michal Golas (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). The chase group arrived 11 seconds later and the peloton, with Hushovd, was 57 seconds back.

Van Avermaet said he was only looking for a good day of training following his victory Wednesday at Grand Prix de Wallonie. “We just gave it all to stay in front to the finish and that is what happened,” Van Avermaet said.

“It was a goal to do some good preparation for the worlds, so for me it went perfectly.” The victory was Van Avermaet’s third of the year and the BMC Racing Team’s 27th on the season. Sport Director Max Sciandri said the BMC Racing Team was ready for every scenario. “We knew we could finish it off well with Thor if it came to a sprint, but we wanted the other guys to be focused on breakaways,” he said. “And Greg finished it off in a great way.”

“A Lot of Emotion’ For Hushovd
Hushovd placed 48th in his last race and received congratulatory hugs from his teammates. “It is a strange feeling and it is kind of sad in one way,” he said. “There is a lot of emotion. But I am really in a good place and proud of my career. It has been a great 15 years.” Hushovd’s first win as a professional came on April 29, 2000, when he won the first of three straight stages of the Ringerike Grand Prix in his home country of Norway.

His last win came on Aug. 11, 2013 when he took the overall title (as well as the final stage) of the Arctic Race of Norway for two of his BMC Racing Team-high nine wins on the year. In between, he won nearly 100 races, including a world title on the road (2010), stages of all three grand tours, two points classification titles at the Tour de France (2005 and 2009) and three Norwegian national road (2004, 2010 and 2013) and time trial (2002, 2004 and 2005) titles. “Thor will be a great inspiration for younger generations and it is great he finished with the BMC Racing Team,” Sciandri said. “We hope all the best for him.”

1. Van Avermaet Greg, BMC Racing Team 4:20:04
2. Van der Sande Tosh, Lotto Belisol
3. GolaÅ› Michal, Omega P harma – Quick-Step
4. Timmer Albert, Team Giant-Shimano
5. Cardis Romain, Team Europcar
6. Sinkeldam Ramon, Team Giant-Shimano 0:11
7. Meersman Gianni, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
8. de Buyst Jasper, Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise
9. Leukemans Bjorn, Wanty – Groupe Gobert
10. Jerome Vincent, Team Europcar

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