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CCC has unveiled a Tour de France roster that will focus on hunting stage victories with Greg Van Avermaet, Ilnur Zakarin, and Matteo Trentin as headliners.
“Tour de France stage wins are not easy to come by but we have selected our strongest eight riders to line up in Nice, half of whom are past stage winners which gives us a lot of confidence ahead of the race,” said team manager Jim Ochowicz. “Ilnur Zakarin will have freedom to see what he can do on the General Classification and we will support him as much as possible but ultimately, our focus is on arriving in Paris with at least one stage win to our name.”
The upcoming Tour will be Van Avermaet’s last with the CCC squad as his 10-year tenure with the former BMC team comes to an end. For now, it remains unclear whether this year’s race will also be the final Tour for the Continuum Sports organization itself, as the team has yet to announce a replacement sponsor for the departing CCC team.
“I think every day will be even more of a fight than ever, for both the stage wins and General Classification, so we’re in for a tough race. But that suits me and I think there are a few stages that are good for me,” said Van Avermaet, who counts two Tour stage wins on his career palmares. “We have a strong team with a lot of experience and I think we can work well together to achieve the team’s goals. This will be my last Tour de France with Continuum Sports so it will be a special one for me and I’m even more motivated to get a good result.”
Trentin, a three-time Tour stage winner, will complement Van Avermaet flat and hillier stages with Michael Schär and Jonas Koch also set to play a role there.
The team will look to Zakarin, Simon Geschke, Jan Hirt, and breakaway talent Alessandro De Marchi in the more mountainous stages.