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"No Brabantse pijl for me after the crash Sunday, hopefully I can do the Amstel. My last race of the spring classics," Van Avermaet writes

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AMAEL MOINARD

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BRABANTSE PIJL

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GREG VAN AVERMAET

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LARRY WARBASSE

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MARTIN KOHLER

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MICHAEL SCHÄR

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PETER STETINA

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PHILIPPE GILBERT

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STEPHEN CUMMINGS

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YANNICK EIJSSEN

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15.04.2014 @ 11:02 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Philippe Gilbert is ready to kick off the most important part of his spring season when he leads BMC in tomorrow's Brabantse Pijl semi-classic. This time, however, he won't have the support of Greg Van Avermaet who has chosen to skip the race after crashing in last Sunday's Paris-Roubaix.

 

Until now, it has mostly been about preparation for Philippe Gilbert but now it is time for the former world champion to start achieving his best results. This year he chose to skip all the cobbled classics to focus entirely on the Ardennes and he has used the Vuelta al Pais Vasco to finalize his preparations.

 

In his all-conquering 2011 campaign, Gilbert started his Ardennes season with a win in the Brabantse Pijl semi-classic that is the perfect warm-up race for the hilly classics. This year he will again use the Belgian race to test his legs one final time ahead of Sunday's Amstel Gold Race as he again leads BMC in Overijse.

 

Last year he was involved in a fascinating duel with Peter Sagan but cam up short against the powerful Slovakian. Together with teammate Greg Van Avermaet, however, he animated the finale, creating the key selection on the hilly finishing circuit.

 

This year he will have to do without Van Avermaet who crashed in the finale of last Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. The Belgian will use this week to recover before ending his spring campaign at the Amstel Gold Race.

 

Van Avermaet wrote on Twitter:

 

"No Brabantse pijl for me after the crash Sunday, hopefully I can do the Amstel. My last race of the spring classics."

 

Instead, Gilbert will rely on strong climbers like Peter Stetina, Amael Moinard, Stephen Cummings, and Yannick Eijssen in the Belgian race while Michael Schär will also provide valuable support just three days after finishing Paris-Roubaix.

 

BMC Racing Team Brabantse Pijl Roster (April 16):
Stephen Cummings (GBR), Yannick Eijssen (BEL), Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Martin Kohler (SUI), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Michael Schär (SUI), Peter Stetina (SVK), Larry Warbasse (USA).

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