GENT, Belgium (AP) — Olympic road champion Greg Van Avermaet edged a three-man sprint to claim a second consecutive victory in the Het Nieuwsblad, which marks the start of the Spring classics. For the second year in a row, the Belgian rider was faster than world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia at the finish line on Saturday. Another Belgian, Sep Vanmarcke, who took the initiative in the final sprint about 200 meters out, completed the podium. "It's an amazing feeling. Last year, my season started here with a big victory and now it's the same this year," Van Avermaet said. "It's nice to come home and to win the first race on home ground." The grueling race, which features cobble sections and
Feb 25 (Gracenote) - Standings from the WorldTour Ranking Teams 1. BMC Racing (United States) 1189 2. Orica (Australia) 986 3. BORA (Germany) 752 4. Sunweb (Germany)
Portugal's Rui Costa snatched the overall lead of the Abu Dhabi Tour on Saturday after powering to victory in the third stage. Costa, riding for home-based Team Emirates, beat Katusha-Alpecin's Russian rider Ilnur Zakarin in a sprint after an 11-km climb to the finish of the 186-km mainly flat stage. The 30-year-old former world road champion leads Zakarin by four seconds going into the final day around the local Formula One circuit and, barring a crash, looks set to claim victory.