Video: Bart De Clercq talks about his unexpected Giro d’Italia stage win
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Video: Bart De Clercq talks about his unexpected Giro d’Italia stage win

by Shane Stokes at 8:48 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Giro d'Italia, Video
Belgian didn’t believe he could actually win

Bart De ClercqHe held on to win stage seven in brilliant fashion, but it’s a fair bet to say that Bart De Clercq will be pinching himself for some time, making sure that his victory wasn’t a dream. “I’m not really a winner-type,” he told VeloNation after the stage. As a winner in the Giro d’Italia, though, we beg to differ.

The neo pro seized the initiative on the final climb of the Montevergine di Mercogliano, accelerating clear inside the final ten kilometres to go and quickly opening a gap. Shoulders rocking but legs turning with some fluidity, he raced up the climb, fending off a chase behind from Jackson Rodriguez (Androni Giocattoli) and then Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF Inox).

“I think it was about 8 kilometres to go when I attacked,” he said after the stage. “I found that the speed in the bunch wasn’t so high, so I decided to try to get away from it. I got a good advantage, a nice gap with 30 or more seconds, then you have to go flat out and see where it ends up. It ended very well.”

He admitted that he didn’t believe he could win. “In the last 500 metres I didn’t think I was going to make it. With 100 metres to go, I looked behind and saw Scarponi coming very fast. I didn’t want to look back any more…I just went as fast as I still could, which wasn’t very fast anymore!

“It was very close, but I am very, very happy that I made it.”

De Clercq turned pro this year after an amateur career which saw him take results such as first in a stage of the 2009 Tour de Namur plus a win last year in the overall classification of the Tour de Moselle. Neither of those events is anything like the same level as the Giro d’Italia, though, and so triumphing today is a shock to him.

“It is a very, very special moment. It is my first year as a professional, and I think that every young rider would like to win a stage in the Giro in his first year,” he said. “I never would have expected to achieve this in my first year. I am not really a winner type, but achieving this today is very, very special for me, of course.”



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