Gilbert, Hushovd lead BMC's chances in Milan-San Remo

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Building form... Philippe Gilbert is winless in 2013 but isn't lacking condition. The Belgian was second to Sylvain Chavanel on Stage 6 of Paris-Nice. (Getty Images)

Two former world champions, Philippe Gilbert and Thor Hushovd, will lead an impressive looking BMC team for Sunday's Milan-San Remo, which will bank on its versatility to take out La Primavera.

I have a good level but I have not yet won...I will not be the favourite for Milan-San Remo.

Belgian all-rounder Greg van Avermaet will also head to Italy with the team, as will strong-man Daniel Oss and perennial Classics contender, Manuel Quinziato.

While the team's attack will be based around supporting Gilbert for escapes over the Poggio and Cipressa, and keeping Hushovd fresh for a sprint, van Avermaet and American Taylor Phinney give the team plenty of options to play around with.

BMC has enjoyed a solid start to the 2013 season, though as yet slightly unlucky to have only three wins to its name. Hushovd starred in Haut Var while Gilbert has come close twice on tough stages at the Santos Tour Down Under and in Paris-Nice.

Gilbert told Belgian TV station RTBF he was feeling good for the Italian monument after a brief period of illness before Paris-Nice, but said he should be considered an outsider for the win.

"Fortunately, I am healed after Paris-Nice. I can now breathe 100 per cent and it makes a big difference to my condition.

"Because I'm world champion I will automatically be amongst favourites for Milan-San Remo,” he added, "but I will not be the favourite.

"I have a good level but I have not yet won, nor made an exploit. I think there are other riders to nominate before me."

BMC Racing Team Milan-San Remo roster (March 17):
Philippe Gilbert (BEL), Thor Hushovd (NOR), Klaas Lodewyck (BEL), Daniel Oss (ITA), Taylor Phinney (USA), Manuel Quinziato (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL).

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