Harm Vanhoucke hugely disappointed after bad luck hits at the Giro d’Italia pubblicato il 19/05/2021

Harm Vanhoucke hugely disappointed after bad luck hits at the Giro d’Italia

Lotto Soudal rider Harm Vanhoucke finished third in a memorable stage eleven of the Giro d’Italia. Together with teammate Roger Kluge, Vanhoucke was part of an eleven-rider breakaway which battled it out for the stage win on the way to Montalcino. The 23-year-old Vanhoucke left a strong impression on the Tuscan gravel roads and reached out his hand to a first professional victory. However, Vanhoucke’s plans were disrupted by a late crash, which forced him to change bikes. After a furious chase, he still came close to the two leaders, but in the end Vanhoucke had to settle for third place. The Swiss Mauro Schmid won the stage, Roger Kluge crossed the line in seventh place.

“I am unbelievably disappointed”, says Harm Vanhoucke“I really felt I was the strongest rider in the breakaway today, but unfortunately a crash and a bike change at ten kilometres from the finish prevented me from going for the win. I still managed to catch a lot of riders as I launched a furious chase. In the end, I finished just under half a minute behind the winner, but unfortunately I lost a little too much time because of the bike change to go for the stage win.”

Almost immediately after the peloton left Perugia, a breakaway of eleven riders took shape, including Lotto Soudal riders Roger Kluge and Harm Vanhoucke. The peloton wasn’t eager to start chasing and that way, the advantage of the front group went up to a whopping fourteen minutes. It soon became clear that the stage would be won from the breakaway. In what was a true gravel spectacle, the young Belgian eventually finished third after being forced to change bikes due to a crash in the very final of the stage.

Harm Vanhoucke: 
“Actually, I was a bit surprised that the peloton gave us such a big lead because I thought this was going to be a stage for the general classification riders. Fortunately for us, it turned out differently. Roger Kluge did a great job and attacked several times so I could save my forces. I really didn’t plan to be in today’s breakaway. Actually, this was the stage I feared the most. In addition to that, I had never ridden on such long gravel sections, not even in training. So I was happy to be part of the front group because I would not have liked to be in the peloton today. Along the way, I also collected some KOM points, maybe they will come in handy later in the race, who knows…”

 

Image: Photo News.




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