Giro d’Italia stage winner Bart De Clercq back in action for Omega Pharma-Lotto
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Friday, July 29, 2011

Giro d’Italia stage winner Bart De Clercq back in action for Omega Pharma-Lotto

by Kyle Moore at 2:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Poland
Tour of Poland begins second half of 24 year old’s season

Bart De ClerqThe young guns who made a splash for the Belgian team Omega Pharma- Lotto in the spring have re-emerged for the final part of the season. After getting his first professional win on stage seven in the Giro d’Italia, Bart De Clercq has trained specifically for his next block of racing, beginning with the Tour of Poland on Sunday.

The 24-year-old Belgian from Zottegem wasn’t as busy in July, but he trained with several teammates to prepare for the second part of the season. “Unlike the riders in the Tour, I went through July without a race, trying to get in good condition for the second half of the season,” De Clercq wrote on his blog.

When De Clercq attacked with 8 kilometers to go to the first summit finish in this year’s Italian grand tour, he had commentators and journalists frantically scanning their notes, but there wasn’t much to find. In his first professional season, De Clercq proved to be a strong climber. To earn that first win, he held off Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and a hard-charging favorites group by a very narrow margin.

To prepare for his next set of races, De Clercq joined seven Omega Pharma-Lotto teammates at an altitude training camp in Livigno, Italy. Much like what the peloton experienced in the Tour de France, the weather didn’t always cooperate in the Italian peaks. “The weather gods were unfortunately not always in a good mood,” De Clercq remarked. “It felt like an autumn holiday, but we were still able to get proper training done.”

“We did daily climbs through the Dolomites, including the famous Stelvio and Gavia.”

Building form and confidence, De Clercq will hope to hear commentators call his name again in the coming months. “The feelings in training were pretty good,” he wrote. “Hopefully the climbing miles and my stay in the thin air will prove beneficial.”

Along with De Clercq, Omega Pharma-Lotto brings back another Giro d’Italia revelation, Jan Bakelants. Bakelants finished 23rd overall and won the sprint classification as one of the most active riders in the race. The Belgian duo will team with British sprinter Adam Blythe in Poland. Blythe will look for a win in a flat finish.

Omega Pharma-Lotto for the Tour of Poland:

Jan Bakelants, Adam Blythe, Bart De Clercq, Francis De Greef, Adam Hansen, Oscar Pujol, Vincente Reynes, Jussi Veikkanen


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