Van Avermaet looking for repeat success in Canada

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) will return to Canada this weekend with an eye toward repeating his success at the GP Cycliste de Montréal on September 9.

Van Avermaet, who claimed the win in Montreal in 2016 and has been on the podium five times collectively in Quebec and Montreal, will have his first chance for victory on September 7 at the GP Cycliste de Québec.

"I always love racing in Canada, especially because the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and Montréal are two races that really suit me," Van Avermaet said. "I have raced well in the past, and I'm hoping to return to the podium again this year."

Van Avermaet finished second to Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgohe) in Quebec last year and was seventh behind winner Diego Ulissi in Montreal. He was second to Sagan in Quebec in 2016 – the same year he won in Montreal.

"The circuit in both races is not easy, which is better for me because I always have a better sprint after a long, hard race," Van Avermaet said. "I've had a good rest after the BinckBank Tour, and I'm looking forward to getting back into racing this week."

He will have solid backing from a team that sports director Fabio Baldato said will be devoted to the Belgian's efforts, although they do have other options as well.

"We have a strong team lining up in Canada this week," Baldato said. "Obviously, Greg is a former winner in Montreal, as is Simon Gerrans, who has won in Quebec twice and once in Montreal. The team will work hard to get a good result for Greg at both races, but we also have options depending on how the races play out. Damiano Caruso is coming in with good form and he can be a second option in Montreal."

Australian Gerrans, who will retire at the end of this season, won in Quebec in 2012 and 2014, beating Van Avermaet and Tom Dumoulin, respectively.

Two days after his 2014 Quebec win, Gerrans 'did the double', winning in Montreal ahead of Lampre's Rui Costa, making him the first and only rider to win both events in the same year.

Robert Gesink has also won both races – Montreal in 2010 and Quebec in 2013 – as has Sagan, who won Montreal in 2013 and Quebec in both 2016 and 2017.

BMC Racing for GP Cycliste de Québec and GP Cycliste de Montréal: Damiano Caruso, Kilian Frankiny, Simon Gerrans, Michael Schär, Greg Van Avermaet, Nathan Van Hooydonck, Danilo Wyss

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