Van Avermaet, Trentin and Zakarin lead stage hunt for CCC team – VeloNews.com

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The CCC team are looking for a stage victory at this year’s Tour de France, and the pressure is on.

Greg Van Avermaet, Matteo Trentin, Ilnur Zakarin and Simon Geschke offer options for a team ready to compete in the high mountains, reduced sprints and difficult break days. They will be supported by road captain Michael Schär, Alessandro De Marchi and Tour de France rookies Jan Hirt and Jonas Koch.

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“Tour de France stage victories are not easy to find, but we have selected our eight best drivers to line up in Nice, half of whom are former stage winners, which gives us a lot of confidence before the race, ”said team president Jim Ochowicz.

“Ilnur Zakarin will have the freedom to see what he can do in the general classification and we will support him as much as possible, but at the end of the day our goal is to get to Paris with at least one stage victory under our belt. . ”

The American duo Will Barta and Joey Rosskopf did not make the selection despite strong performances during the races in early August in France.

The best chance for the team to win a stage comes from classic specialists Trentin and Van Avermaet, who together boast five stage victories on the Tour.

“Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin are several Tour de France stage winners and have repeatedly demonstrated their ability to win at the highest level of the race,” said sporting director Steve Bauer. “It’s no surprise that they are clearly our leaders for the Tour de France.”

This year’s Tour will be the last Van Avermaet drives under longtime boss Ochowicz after the two worked together during the BMC Racing era before the team became CCC Team. As Polish shoemakers CCC exit their sponsorship deal in 2021, Ochowicz is looking for new backers, and Van Avermaet has chosen the safe option of a contract with Ag2r-Citröen until 2023 rather than resist his American manager.

“It will be my last Tour de France with Continuum Sports so it will be special for me and I am even more motivated to get a good result,” said Van Avermaet. “We all know it’s going to be a different race and everyone lines up without a lot of race days in their legs so it’s hard to know what to expect but so far I’ve been satisfied of my form.

“I think every day will be even more difficult than ever, both for stage wins and for the general classification, so we are in a difficult race. But it’s fine with me and I think there are a few steps that are good for me.

While renowned riders flock away from the CCC team and sign contracts elsewhere, with Schär, Patrick Bevin and this week again Nathan Van Hooydonck, confirming all their upcoming starts, the hunt for stage victories in the Tour of this year will be crucial in Ochowicz’s race for a new sponsor.

Van Avermaet held the yellow jersey against all odds for eight consecutive stages in 2018. Perhaps the Belgian can do Ochowicz one last favor with another success in France this summer.

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