Jesse Sergent: “I didn’t expect to take this win today!”
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Jesse Sergent: “I didn’t expect to take this win today!”

by Ben Atkins at 6:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Eneco Tour
 
23-year-old RadioShack New Zealander surprised at first ever WorldTour victory

jesse sergentStarting the day in 93rd place overall meant that Jesse Sergent (RadioShack) started today’s 14.7km Eneco tour time trial in the first half, which meant that he missed the heavy rain that affected the rides of so many of the later starters. His time of 17’55” proved to be the only ride below the 18-minute mark, giving the 23-year-old New Zealander his first ever victory in the WorldTour.

“I did not expect this at all,” said Sergent after his victory. “After my seventh place in the opening prologue, my confidence was up and I was hoping for a top-five today. But my back luck of yesterday became my good luck today. I only had two-k on wet roads.”

The bad luck to which Sergent was referring was the puncture that he suffered in the closing kilometres of the previous day’s stage. He was unable to rejoin the peloton and finished alone, some 8’25” behind stage winner Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto). This lost time meant he dropped from eight overall, where he had been thanks to his strong prologue performance, to 93rd, which meant he was to start so early.

Riding his first full year in the WorldTour – having ridden for RadioShack as a stagiere at the end of last season – Sergent has already won the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, thanks to his victory in the opening prologue, and finished second in the 30.1km time trial in the Österreich-Rundfahrt.

“It’s hard for me to say what kind of time trial I prefer,” he said. “I was excellent in the Tour of Austria on a 30 K flat course without corners. But today was very technical and I won, so I don’t know.”

“Eneco was my first goal for part-two of my season,” he explained. “I feel good for the upcoming races. I’ll race at [Tour du] Poitou-Charentes and Plouay [GP Ouest-France]; then hopefully the world championships in Copenhagen, too.”

As well as surprising himself, Sergent has impressed his RadioShack team with his victory. While he enjoyed far better conditions than those at the top of the overall classification, he beat a number of specialists who had also started early.

“Jesse did an almost perfect TT,” said RadioShack director sportif Dirk Demol. “He was faster than specialists like Alex Rasmussen [HTC-Highroad] who did his TT in the same circumstances as Jesse. I think he only misjudged the final corner – he was going so fast.

“Jesse comes from the track,” he added. “We take care to not burn him out. Even in 2010 with Trek-Livestrong he didn’t do too many road races. This year after a strong spring season, along with a silver medal in the men’s individual pursuit at the Track World Championships in March, he took a break after Paris-Roubaix. He then came back to racing in Luxemburg and Wallonie.”

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