Greg Van Avermaet's quest for a first Monument victory continues on Sunday at Paris-Roubaix, where the Olympic champion leads a BMC Racing team that makes one change from its Tour of Flanders line-up.
Miles Scotson is the rider coming in to replace Silvan Dillier, with the Australian champion set to make his Paris-Roubaix debut in his neo-pro season. Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato, Jempy Drucker, Martin Elmiger, Fran Ventoso, and Stefan Kung all return to help an in-form Van Avermaet bounce back from the disappointment of finishing second at Flanders after a late crash.
"When you line up at any race you line up to win, and Paris-Roubaix is no exception. It's no secret that the Tour of Flanders was the big one for me but I want to win a Monument this year and I have another chance this Sunday," said Van Avermaet, who has twice finished in the top four at the Hell of the North.
"I know I can do a good race and get the result I want. The Tour of Flanders showed that anything can happen in these races, so if everything goes to plan at Paris-Roubaix there's no reason why I can't win."
With BMC not lining up at Scheldeprijs on Wednesday, Van Avermaet suggested an early recon of the Paris-Roubaix cobbles, ahead of the traditional Thursday slot favoured by most teams. According to Het Nieuwsblad, all eight members of the team set off from Tournai and rode 140km to the famous Roubaix velodrome, taking in the final 12 cobblestone sectors of the course.
"It's already two years since I've ridden these roads in a race," said Van Avermaet, who was ruled out of last year's race after a heavy crash at Flanders . "It was a bit the same as usual, but it's good that I've been out there."
Directeur sportif Fabio Baldato added that the bad luck at Flanders has only made his men more pumped up to get a victory on Sunday at what is the final cobbled classic of the season.
"We know we have a strong team and I think we can learn a lot from our Tour of Flanders performance to be even stronger at Paris-Roubaix," he said.
"Paris-Roubaix is a different kind of race to the Tour of Flanders but I definitely think we can finish with a good result. We saw last week just how strong Greg is no matter what is thrown at him in the race, and having missed out on the victory at the Tour of Flanders, we are even more motivated for this Sunday's race."
BMC Racing for Paris-Roubaix: Jempy Drucker (LUX), Martin Elmiger (SUI), Stefan Küng (SUI), Daniel Oss (ITA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Miles Scotson (AUS), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), and Francisco Ventoso (ESP).