Van Avermaet to lead BMC at Milan-San Remo

Gilbert out sick for first Monument of 2016

Tirreno-Adriatico overall winner Greg Van Avermaet will lead the BMC Racing Team at Milan-San Remo on Saturday, the team announced today.

Van Avermaet will be without Philippe Gilbert in the line-up. The former world champion is still suffering from an upper respiratory infection from Paris-Nice.

The BMC roster for Milan-San Remo will look much like their Tirreno-Adriatico start list - Van Avermaet is joined by Damiano Caruso, Alessandro De Marchi, Jempy Drucker, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato, with Marcus Burghard and Danilo Wyss replacing Tejay van Garderen and Taylor Phinney.

"Greg is in great shape going into Milan-San Remo and he will be supported by some of our best Classics riders. We're going into the race confident and of course we want to win," directeur sportif Valerio Piva said.

Van Avermaet transformed himself from perennial runner-up to champion this year, taking out the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February before vaulting into the race lead at Tirreno-Adriatico on Monday. He finished off the final stage's time trial with a one second advantage over rival Peter Sagan to seal the overall win - his first in a WorldTour stage race. But he's only cracked the top 10 once in Milan-San Remo, a ninth place in 2011.

"My victories at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Tirreno-Adriatico give me a lot of confidence. I know I'm in good shape so it will be all about tactics on the day. At 291 kilometers, it's a long race but that's what I love and where I really get to show what I've got," Van Avermaet said.

BMC Racing for Milan-San Remo: Marcus Burghardt, Damiano Caruso, Alessandro De Marchi, Jempy Drucker, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato, Greg Van Avermaet, Danilo Wyss.

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