Van Avermaet leads BMC's aims at Milan-San Remo

Olympic champion targeting podium in first monument of 2017

BMC Racing head to Milan-San Remo Saturday with the ambition of delivering Greg Van Avermaet to his first La Classicissima podium.

An animator in the finale of last year's race, Van Avermaet finished fifth for his second top-ten result, but in 2017 he is aiming for the podium.

"I've come out of Tirreno-Adriatico with good feelings. I'm really happy with my form and I hope to do well in the Classics. Milan-San Remo is a hard race and a bit of a lottery," Van Avermaet said. "It's a beautiful race and I love it but you have to have a bit of luck to win, especially if you're not the fastest guy in the peloton.

Van Avemaet has twice finished on the Tour of Flanders podium, and once at Paris–Roubaix with a monument victory a major aim for 2017.

"I want to win a Monument this year and Milan-San Remo is my first opportunity so if everything goes perfectly, I hope to have a chance," he added.

The Olympic champion has been part of two team time trial wins so far in 2017 and successfully defending his Omloop Het Nieuwsblad title last month. The 31-year-old also enjoyed a good classics campaign so far with seventh at Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, second at Strade Bianche, and a day in the leader's jersey of Tirreno-Adriatico last week. At Milan-San Remo, he is aiming to continue his run of results.

Directeur sportif Max Sciandri believes BMC have selected a team capable of achieving its goals with the in-form Belgian leading the line.

"We saw how strong Greg is with his win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and second place at Strade Bianche. We have a great team in support of Greg, with riders like Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato and Francisco Ventoso bringing a lot of experience," Sciandri said.

"As the longest one-day race on the calendar, Milan-San Remo is one of the toughest races these riders will line up at all year. Greg generally thrives in these conditions and the longer the race, the stronger he gets. We're ready to give it everything we have this Saturday."

Australian national champion Miles Scotson will make his debut in a monument in an otherwise experienced squad. Swiss duo Silvan Dillier and Martin Elmiger complete BMC's team for the 108th Milan-San Remo.

Cyclingnews will have live coverage of Milan-San Remo with a full report, results, video highlights, photo gallery and news to follow.

BMC Racing for the 2017 Milan-San Remo: Damiano Caruso, Silvan Dillier, Martin Elmiger, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato, Miles Scotson, Greg Van Avermaet and Francisco Ventoso. 

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