BMC look to continue their good fortunes at the Ardennes this week with their next race at Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday. The American team has made a few changes to the team that helped Philippe Gilbert to victory at the Amstel Gold Race.
Gilbert will again lead the team, as he tries to repeat his 2011 campaign where he became the second rider in history to win all three races in the Ardennes week in the same year. After two seasons of struggling to find his form, BMC has made some big changes to Gilbert’s programme and it seems to have done wonders for the Belgian. He has taken his first two victories of the year in less than a week, with success at Brabantse Pijl earlier last week - as many as he managed throughout the whole of 2012.
Supporting Gilbert will be Samuel Sánchez, whose attack at the foot of the Cauberg paved the way for his teammate to race away to victory. The Spaniard is in the twilight of his career, but has proved to be a useful signing for the team this season. Sánchez has had his own success at the race, he finished on the podium at Flèche back in 2011, when Gilbert took his last victory at the Belgian race. Marcus Burghardt and Ben Hermans are the only other riders from the Amstel line-up to race again on Wednesday.
Greg Van Avermaet won't be racing on Wednesday, he will finally get to put his feet up for a bit, after a tough cobbled Classics campaign. Among the riders getting the call for Wednesday’s race is Darwin Atapuma. The Colombian returns to racing after he withdrew from the Vuelta al País Vasco with respiratory problems. The 26-year-old Atapuma is a big hope for BMC in the future, but will be present to ride for Gilbert and learn from the experience of his elder teammates. Joining him will be Amaël Moinard and Larry Warbasse, who both rode at Brabantse Pijl last Wednesday, and Tour Méditerranéen Stephen Cummings.
BMC team for Flèche Wallonne: Darwin Atapuma, Marcus Burghardt, Stephen Cummings, Philippe Gilbert, Ben Hermans, Amaël Moinard, Samuel Sánchez, Larry Warbasse.