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Lotto Belisol: Bart Leysen gives a review of the Giro d’Italia
lotto650big With a stage of 197 kilometers to Brescia, where seven local laps of 4,2 kilometers were waiting for the riders, the 96th Giro d’Italia ended. Mark Cavendish took his fifth stage win and Vincenzo Nibali put on the final pink jersey. At Lotto Belisol all nine riders completed this first Grand Tour of the year. In week one the team could already celebrate thanks to the victory of Adam Hansen in the seventh stage. Our riders made the race by joining long breakaways. Francis De Greef finished this Giro on the 21st place in GC at 33’20”.

Bart Leysen, sports director: “We came to Italy with two goals: winning a stage and a top fifteen in the GC. The first goal we achieved early in this Giro, already in stage seven. It gave a boost to the entire team. Not only to the riders, but to the whole staff. Our selection was only finalized a few days before the Giro due to several injuries, that way you get at the start a bit uncertain. We’ve won a Giro stage for the fifth year in a row, that’s magnificent. Many teams go home empty-handed. 23 teams stood at the start and Omega Pharma- Quick-Step has five stage wins, Movistar four, Astana two and we one.”

“Afterwards we aimed for a second win, but that didn’t succeed. Our riders were in escapes many times. Almost every day we made the race and were a lot on TV, that’s also important. It shows the fighting spirit of the guys. Only in that big escape of 19 riders someone of us had to be in it as well, preferably Francis De Greef. The search for a good GC was disappointing, De Greef has become 21st. We’ve already been trying to aim higher for a few years now. This result was the highest possible in this Giro, so be it.”

“Our entire team has finished this Giro. Of course you have to be a bit lucky, in the first week we could have lost a few riders because of the many crashes in the local laps. But it shows their eagerness, notwithstanding the bad weather they set through. The cancellation of the stage on Friday and the modification of that on Saturday didn’t make any difference for our GC. Of course our men had to suffer less, but that’s the same for everyone. The fact that there’s a good atmosphere in the team is very important as well. Al our riders end this Giro in a pretty good condition.”


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