Giro d’Italia: Frederik Veuchelen attacking through the pain
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Giro d’Italia: Frederik Veuchelen attacking through the pain

by Ben Atkins at 9:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Vacansoleil-DCM rider in the stage twenty break despite going down in Lewis-Pinotti crash yesterday

frederik veuchelenDespite coming down in the crash that sent HTC-Highroad duo Craig Lewis and Marco Pinotti to hospital with broken bones yesterday, Frederik Veuchelen (Vacansoleil-DCM) got himself into the break on the Giro d’Italia’s final road stage to Sestriere. The Belgian was visibly in pain, and did not want to speak, at the stage finish in Macgnaga yesterday, but VeloNation caught up with him at the start of this morning’s stage in Verbania.

“I’m pretty happy that I was more lucky than Pinotti and Lewis,” he said, “but it’s the second time I crash in this Giro and my left wrist is still hurting; that hurts a little bit more and for sure I’m scared for my ribs and for my muscle in my right leg but I’ll try to survive today.”

As a member of the Vacansoleil-DCM team for the last three years, and Toprsport Vlaanderen for almost his whole career before that, this Giro d’Italia has been the first opportunity for the 31-year-old to ride a Grand Tour; having come so far, there is no way he’ll be climbing off his bike without a fight.

“It’s the last day,” he smiled. “I can’t give up now.”

With all his aches and pains Veuchelen was not expecting to feature in the stage to Sestriere, except as a name somewhere near the bottom of the result sheet; he didn’t rule out trying to get in the breakaway though.

“I’ll watch how I feel today,” he said, “and maybe if I’m not to focused and I feel okay then I’ll try to go in the break if our team director asks; but the way I feel now I think it’s about surviving really, to reach Milan.

“I think I’ll try to find a good gruppetto today,” he added.

Despite feeling sore at the start of the race though, Veuchelen managed to get into the group of thirteen riders that escaped after 29km. By the 86km mark they had built up their lead to its maximum of 11’20”; none of them expected to win the stage, but sometimes the best way to avoid the time cut is to get as far ahead as possible.


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