Ligthart is King of Mountains winner in Criterium International
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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ligthart is King of Mountains winner in Criterium International

by VeloNation Press at 10:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Critérium International
 
Big success for Vacansoleil neo-pro

Pim LigthartThe time trial is yet to be concluded but with no mountain points on offer, Vacansoleil rider Pim Ligthart is set to be crowed the final winner of the KOM classification at the Critérium International. The award is an important one for the 22 year old neo-pro, who collected a chunk of points on yesterday’s opening stage.

“The coach told me to stay easy and we had other riders for the breakaway,” he explained to VeloNation’s Bjorn Haake, talking about how things evolved. “But they didn't feel good, so I tried to be in a breakaway and that happened. We went after the top of the second climb - in the downhill we went away.”

He said that he believed it was better to be up the road, given the nature of the course. “It is my first time in Corsica. For two years I lived in France, in Aix en Provence. Not so far from here, but my first time on the island. It is nice but all the roads are a little bit bumpy and left-right-left-right - really nervous. That's why it was better to be in the break.

“In the second climb when I was still in the peloton I took the first points. On the third climb I was second, then twice first and on the last climb [before the final ascent to the line] I was third. So I took a lot of points. There were six of us in the break and there was one guy who potentially wanted to sprint with me, but I knew I was faster because normally I am a sprinter. I do the bunch sprints so when we ride easy to the top [of a climb], I know I am fast.”

Ligthart said prior to today’s morning stage that he didn’t intend sprinting for the points. “I have enough for the KOM classification, so I won't sprint. I'd rather go for the stage win - that's better!” As things turned out, the stage victory went to Skil-Shimano’s Simon Geschke, with Ligthart 14th. The KOM classification is certainly a worthwhile prize to take back home, though, and will be a strong motivation for him as his debut season continues.

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