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CCC Team rider Greg Van Avermaet sprinted to a second-place finish in Stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico Thursday, earning a podium spot on day two of the seven-day WorldTour stage race in Italy.

The Belgian continued to show his fine early season form, covering decisive moves in the hilly final kilometers of the 189km stage from Camaiore to Pomerance and powering his TCR Advanced SL to second place behind stage winner Julian Alaphilippe.

“Everything went perfectly for me,” said Van Avermaet, who wore the Giant Pursuit helmet and rode a pre-production set of wheels labeled #overachieve. “The finale was super hard but I said from the beginning that I wouldn’t move with anybody unless it was a group of 20 guys. You have to choose the sprint and hope that everything comes back.”

That’s exactly what happened, with the help of his CCC Team including Michael Schär, who helped chase down attacks. “It was good to have Michi there to close some gaps and the group that went clear only took five or ten seconds so you knew with the final coming closer that they would be caught.”

In the end, it came down to a group of about 30 contesting the sprint. Van Avermaet was in good position with 500 meters to go and was the first to launch his sprint for the line. The Belgian was overtaken by the Frenchman Alaphilippe, but still came away pleased with his podium performance.

“When you get second place it’s sad, but it’s the way it is and I was pretty happy with how the team and I performed today,” Van Avermaet said.

Tirreno-Adriatico, considered a perfect tune-up race for the upcoming Milan-San Remo classic, continues with some challenging days ahead before concluding with a 10km individual time trial next Tuesday in San Benedetto del Tronto.

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