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"At first, I thought maybe I could still sprint because I did not flat directly. But in the final corner, I felt it was going to be tricky. When they started sprinting, it was already totally flat and my race was over."

Photo: Sirotti

GREG VAN AVERMAET

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PARIS - TOURS

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11.10.2015 @ 18:48 Posted by Andy Pedersen

BMC Racing Team's Greg Van Avermaet finished third Sunday at Paris-Tours after a flat front tire prevented him from contesting the final sprint against two breakaway companions.

 

Van Avermaet said his mechanical happened with about 1,300 meters remaining in the 231-kilometer race.

 

"At first, I thought maybe I could still sprint because I did not flat directly," he said. "But in the final corner, I felt it was going to be tricky. When they started sprinting, it was already totally flat and my race was over."

 

Matteo Trentin (Etixx-Quick Step) took the win over Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal). Van Avermaet coasted in four seconds later to notch his 16th podium result of the season that includes four victories and four runner-up finishes.

 

BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said he heard the news of the flat tire over Radio Tour.

 

"There was no time to change the wheel," Ledanois said. "If we change the wheel, Greg doesn't get top three and he gets nothing. He was just not lucky. For sure, he had the legs to take the win today."

 

A solo winner here in 2011, Van Avermaet and teammate Tom Bohli were part of a group of nearly three dozen riders who escaped the peloton early on. Eventually, the lead group was whittled to 25 riders before Trentin went attacked on the second-to-last climb. Van Avermaet, Van der Sande and Pavel Brut (Tinkoff-Saxo) were able to follow, but Brut was dropped on the final climb.

 

"Everything before this mechanical problem, the team did well," Ledanois said to the BMC website. "Tom was with Greg in the breakaway and he did a good job for him. And Greg was there in the final. He just did not have good luck. C'est la vie. (That's life.)"

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