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News shorts: Van Avermaet leads BMC Racing at Paris-Tours

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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Kaarle McCulloch with Anna Meares during the women's team sprint

Kaarle McCulloch with Anna Meares during the women's team sprint (Image credit: Guy Swarbrick)
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Marc Fournier (France)

Marc Fournier (France) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Floris Gerts (BMC)

Floris Gerts (BMC) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18)

Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18)

BMC Racing have named its squad for Sunday's Paris-Tour with Greg Van Avermaet leading its selection. The Belgian won the 2011 edition of the race but has failed to finish on the podium in the three editions since. Van Avermaet makes his return to racing after finishing 23rd at the World Championships in Richmond where he narrowly missed the winning move by Peter Sagan.

Van Avermaet will be supported by Michael Schär, Peter Velits, Dylan Teuns and three stagiaires. Tom Bohli rode the Tour de l'Eurométropole with BMC finishing ninth overall fourth in the best young rider classification. Kilian Frankiny has ridden several races with the team, including the Tour of Utah and US Pro Challenge, and most recently rode the Tour de l'Eurométropole.

Rounding out the team is 23-year-old Floris Gerts who will ride with the team for the following two seasons. In his tim with the team, Gerts has ahd several top ten results with third place at the 1.HC Primus Classic Impanis - Van Petegem his best yet.

BMC Racing for Paris-Tour: Tom Bohli, Kilian Frankiny, Floris Gerts, Michael Schär, Dylan Teuns, Greg Van Avermaet and Peter Velits.

Bennett adds Paris-Bourges to growing palmares

Victory head of Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) at Paris-Bourges was Sam Bennett's fifth of the year and further confirmation of his rising talent in sprint finishes. The Bora-Argon 18 fastman explained the leadout work of Shane Archbold was key to him getting the better of his rivals and pipping them on the line.

"Coming into the finale it was pretty dangerous but the guys kept me in a good position on the last 10km. Then before the 1km-to-go banner Shane took over. From that point, he was on the front with me on his wheel," Bennett said. "I thought it was too early but obviously he just had massive, massive power. He brought me till 250 meters. He did over 1km in front! And then I was able to accelerate from his wheel. It was a long sprint but it was great. I just want to thank the team for the massive support."

The 24-year-old turns his attention to the late season classic Paris-Tours next but is a little unsure how his body will react on Sunday.

"Paris-Tours might be different, and longer for sure, but the win today definitely boosts the confidence," he said. "I didn't really know how my legs were. But I could accelerate hard and hold it. The legs are good. So hopefully we can do something on Sunday."

McCulloch golden on opening day of Oceania Track Championships

Kaarle McCulloch claimed two of Australia's four gold medals on day one of the Oceania Track Championships in Invercargill, New Zealand as she won the 500m sprint and celebrated victory in the team sprint with Anna Meares and Stephanie Morton.

"I am really pleased that we came away with the win, we came here to win and solidify our ranking for Rio," said three-time world champion McCulloch. "I am a little disappointed with my individual performance but I am running faster than I ever have at this time of the season and so it looks very promising for me."

Lauren Perry won Australia's third gold medal as she beat Sophie Williamson and Alysha Keith (New Zealand) to the scratch race title while Tahlay Christie won gold in the U19 women's 500m time trial.

Marc Fournier signs for FDJ

Marc Fournier will ride for the French WorldTour team FDJ having signed a two-year deal. The 20-year-old has ridden as a stagiaire with the team since August 1 most recently making an appearance at the 2.1 Tour de l'Eurométropole.

Fournier is a French national champion on the track on the Madison and Points races while on the road he won a stage at the Le Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux this season and finished 23rd at the U23 World Championships time trial in Richmond last month.

He joins Odd Christian Eiking (Neo), Jérémy Maison (Neo), Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM Cycling), Ignatas Konovalovas (Team Marseille 13 KTM) and Daniel Hoelgaard (Joker) in signing for FDJ since the transfer window opened on August 1.

Vesoul to host 2016 French national championships

The Haute-Saône Department city of Vesoul has been chosen to host the 2016 French national championships the national cycling federation has announced. The championships will take place between June 23, 25-26 next year when Steve Tronet and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot will attempt to defend their titles. This year's championships were hosted in Chantonnay having been held at Futuroscope the year previous.

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