Van Avermaet leads CCC Team at BinckBank Tour

Olympic champion confident after second place in San Sebastian

Greg Van Avermaet will once again lead the line for CCC Team at next week's BinckBank Tour, hoping to turn the embers of his Tour de France form into a third victory of the season.

The Olympic road race champion was unable to win a stage in France but came close to winning the Clásica San Sebastián last weekend, finishing in second place behind solo winner Remco Evenepoel. 

The BinckBank Tour - formerly the Eneco Tour - represents a familiar post-Tour de France outing for Van Avermaet, who has done the Belgium-Holland-Luxembourg-based race for the past five years. He has finished in the top six on each occasion but has never won the overall title.

"Binck Bank Tour is a race that has always suited me in the past and it's one that I always like coming back to. I was happy with my performance in San Sebastián and I was able to show that I still have some strong form in my legs. Once again, my goal here will be to try to go for a good result in the General Classification," Van Avermaet said.

We will see how my body reacts but, overall, I think we have a strong team and I'm looking forward to the race ahead," Van Avermaet said.

The BinckBank Tour offers a stage race parcours suited to the one-day specialists, and Van Avermaet will be supported by the core of his spring classics group, with Lukasz Wizniowski, Michael Schar, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, and Gijs Van Hoecke. Jakob Mareczko will target bunch sprints early in the race, while the squad is rounded out by Josef Černý. 

The 2019 BinckBank Tour kicks off with three largely flat stages in East Flanders, followed by a short but explosive stage around Houffalize, where Tim Wellens has twice won in the past. Another flatter stage takes the race into Holland, where there's also a short 8.35km time trial on stage 6. It's back to Belgium for the finale and the traditional stage built around the famous Muur Van Geraardsbergen climb in West Flanders, where Van Avermaet won a stage in 2014. 

"We will have the same objective as we have had at previous editions of this race and that is to support Greg Van Avermaet. We saw at Clásica de San Sebastián that he came out of the Tour de France in good shape and so, naturally, he will be our leader and we will look to help him go for a good result overall. I think, like every year, the race will be decided on the stage to Geraardsbergen, and we know Greg performs well there, so that will be an important day together with the short time trial and also the stage in Houffalize," said CCC Team director Valerio Piva explained.

"Overall, we have a strong and motivated group of riders lining up and as we are not the outright favorites, we can look to give the other guys the chance to do something. The opening stages suit a bunch sprint so, for those, we have Jakub Mareczko, who we will try to get into a good position. I think Josef Černý can look to do a good time trial and then, of course, our two other Belgians, Gijs Van Hoecke and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck really know the parcours. Michael Schär, who has a lot of experience here too, and Łukasz Wiśniowski also came out of the Tour in good shape so, I think we are prepared to race well and I expect that we will really be pushing for a good result."

CCC Team for the 2019 BinckBank Tour: Greg Van Avermaet, Josef Černý, Gijs Van Hoecke, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Jakob Mareczko, Michael Schar, Lukasz Wizniowski.

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