CCC Team leader Greg Van Avermaet scored his first win of the 2019 season at Stage 3 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in Spain. At the end of a tough 191km stage with six categorized climbs, the Belgian powered his special TCR Advanced SL Gold bike, created by Giant for the 2016 Olympic champion, to beat Italian Matteo Trentin and Spaniard Luis León Sanchez on the uphill sprint to the finish.
“It’s always great to start the season with a win and especially on a hard parcours like this with everyone on the limit,” said Van Avermaet, who wore the Giant Pursuit aero road helmet and rode a prototype WheelSystem being developed with Giant under the #overachieve label. “I felt really strong today though, and the team did a really good job all day but especially on the final climbs.”
It was a strong effort by the team that put their leader in position to win. After a 10-man breakaway finally began to falter in the final 30km, CCC Team riders helped shut down attacks and support Van Avermaet’s bid to contest the final sprint. Alessandro De Marchi and Łukasz Wisniowski put in strong work at the front of the reduced field as the final rider from the breakaway was reeled in with 7km to go From there, CCC Team riders chased down a flurry of late attacks to defend the interests of Van Avermaet.
“We worked really well together at the start and we all survived the second to last climb", Van Avermaet said. “Then I asked Guillaume [Van Keirsbulck] to put me into a good position at the bottom of the final one. He did a perfect job and was even able to go a few kilometers further into the climb for me. I was quite surprised that we still had four guys from our team there.”
The five-day Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, seen by many top riders as a key preparation for the upcoming spring classics, continues with Stage 4 Saturday before finishing Sunday in Valencia.