Van Avermaet chasing success at Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian

Drucker leads the line at RideLondon

Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet is aiming to extend his lead atop the WorldTour standings with a top result at the one-day Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian with his BMC Racing squad.

Van Avermaet was in a race winning position when he was involved in an accident with a race moto in 2015. He returned last year to finish fifth, and despite falling ill at the Tour de France, the Belgian is aiming high in the Basque Country.

"I was a little sick in the last few days of the Tour de France so I'm hoping I'll be feeling good at the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian," Van Avermaet explained. "I'm motivated to do a good race and a top ten finish would be great, especially considering there are UCI WorldTour points on offer. I like the course and it's challenging which suits me."

Sports director Yvon Ledanois added that with majority of the squad
coming off the Tour de France, he expects a strong and unified showing to deliver Van Avermaet to the podium.

"Six of our eight riders are coming to Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian from the Tour de France so we know their form is good and after missing out on a stage win there, they will be very motivated to go for the win in San Sebastian," Ledanois said.

"We have one strong leader in Greg Van Avermaet who, as we know, was primed to win the race in 2015. I expect everyone to be ready to support Greg to go for a good result."

Francisco Ventoso and Manuel Quinziato are the two non-Tour riders in the team after the duo helped teammate Dylan Teuns to Tour de Wallonie overall victory. Alessandro De Marchi, Amaël Moinard, Nicolas Roche, Michael Schär and Danilo Wyss complete the BMC squad for the race.

The following day, BMC are backing in former winner Jempy Drucker at the RideLondon classic with Stefan Küng playing a back-up- role. Drucker won the race in 2015 and explained that after a moral boosting Tour de Wallonie stage win, he is ready for the WorldTour one-day race.

"It's always nice to go back to a race that you have won and I have really good memories from Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic. It's a super nice race and always an awesome crowd on the side of the road," Drucker. "I really like going back every year so I'm looking forward to the race and hopefully I can get a good result. I'm definitely coming in motivated and confident after my win at the VOO Tour de Wallonie this week."

Valerio Piva will direct the team at the race with the Italian explaining the race strategy.

"We go into the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic with two protected riders. One is Stefan Küng who just finished his first Tour de France and is looking very strong. He will be protected in case of attacks on the hilly part of the race. The other will be Jempy Drucker, who won here two years ago, and who we know can be a strong contender if the race comes down to a sprint. Of course, it depends on how the race develops but I definitely think that we can ride aggressively and be present," Piva said.

"Over the last two years, we have seen a similar pattern of racing with a group going clear on the hilly part, especially Box Hill. From the last climb, there is still 40km to go until the finish so, it is not easy to stay on the front and to arrive with a select group, and this is why we go into the race with two options."

Ventoso and Quinziato will fly to London after the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian and join Miles Scotson, Nathan Van Hooydonck and Loïc Vliegen in the squad. 

BMC Racing for the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian: Alessandro De Marchi (Ita), Amaël Moinard (Fra), Manuel Quinziato (Ita), Nicolas Roche (Irl), Michael Schär (Sui), Greg Van Avermaet (Bel), Francisco Ventoso (Esp) and Danilo Wyss (Sui). 

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