Giro d' Italia: Kevin Seeldraeyers looks for top 10 finish
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Saturday, May 07, 2011

Giro d' Italia: Kevin Seeldraeyers looks for top 10 finish

by Xylon van Eyck at 9:05 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
Young Belgian looks to bounce back in Italy

Kevin SeeldrayersKevin Seeldraeyers is hoping to put an average 2010 behind him when he lines up on the start line of the Giro d’Italia today. The Quick Step cyclist was the best young rider in the 2009 edition of the race and finished 14th overall, announcing himself as one of the possible future Grand Tour contenders.

However, last year his season was built around the Tour de France but he only managed to finish 134th overall, placing 38th on stage 16, his best of the race.

"I had a bad winter last year after a heart problem. I missed two crucial training weeks together with numerous falls in the run-up to the Tour. So my year was a failure," he said in an interview with Het Nieuwsblad.

The 24 year old now returns to arguably the toughest stage race of the year.

"It’s too difficult," he said of the Giro parcours. "The organization is doing too much [with the route]. It might be good for the show, but I still find it hard. I fear for a bad day. [One bad day] can cost me a high place finish."

Despite the young Belgian's resistance, his build up to the race has been ideal; consistently showing good form with numerous strong finishes this season. His best result was in the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in March where he finished 9th overall, 1 minute 12 seconds behind winner and Giro d’Italia favourite Alberto Contador.

"I want to shine in this Giro. I will only be satisfied if I can finish in the top ten and be in the top ten of the mountain stages. If I cannot, then I will be disappointed. I'm certainly in better shape than two years ago."

Facing criticism in the media from Quick Step boss Patrick Lefevere hasn’t affected him at all, and with his contract up at the end of the year, Seeldraeyers maintains he is happy at the Belgian team. “My contract expires at the end of this year and I will prove my worth with the pedals. I feel good at Quick Step and would like to continue.”

According to The Belgian team’s sports director Davide Bramati, Seeldraeyers will aim to finish in the top 10 of the general classification but will also be given free reign in going for a stage win if the situation allows.

Quick Step won’t start the race as one of the favourite teams, but opposition will certainly keep their eyes on the squad with their track record of stage wins in Grand Tours.

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