Video: Bart de Clercq will try again after losing mountains jersey
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Video: Bart de Clercq will try again after losing mountains jersey

by Shane Stokes at 3:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Video
Belgian couldn’t make it into break on Sunday

Bart de ClercqStage seven winner Bart de Clercq lost his green mountains jersey on Sunday’s stage to Mount Etna, but said that all going to plan, he will attack again and try to do more in the Giro d’Italia.

“If the legs are quite okay, I will try to get in a breakaway and maybe get another nice result,” he told VeloNation in a video interview at the top of the climb. “This Giro is already very successful…we will see what the next weeks bring.”

The Omega Pharma Lotto pro showed his strength when he attacked on Friday’s final climb to Montevergine di Mercogliano, winning a stage in the Giro in his first year as a professional. The victory – he won by the smallest of margins ahead of a fast finishing Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) – also saw him take the King of the Mountains jersey by one point ahead of previous leader Martin Kohler (BMC Racing Team), and he sought to defend it on Sunday.

Unfortunately things didn’t work out for him. “It was a very hard stage. I tried in the beginning to get in a breakaway, because if I was in a breakaway and got points on the first climb, I would maybe be able to keep the green jersey,” he said. “I attacked a lot, I went in a lot of escapes, but unfortunately they didn’t succeed and I lost a lot of power at the beginning of the stage.

“I was really suffering on the first climb and on the last climb I had to search for my own tempo because it was too hard to follow the first guys.”

De Clercq confirmed that what was already a tough climb was made even harder by the wind. He finished 47th on the stage, six and a half minutes back, and said that the wind essentially added extra percentage points of steepness to the mountain.

Yesterday’s rest day enabled him to recover a little in what is his first Grand Tour. The Belgian resumes racing in today’s 159 kilometre stage to Termoli. He’ll be a little less recognisable in the bunch, but his time in the green jersey plus his stage win have given him motivation for the weeks and months ahead. At 24 years of age, he’s got the ability to do a lot in the sport.

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