Victor Campenaerts previews the Giro d’Italia
The reigning European champion against the clock analyzes his chances of success.
Victor Campenaerts finished runner-up in the closing time trial of the Tour de Romandie today. Early in the race, the European champion against the clock set a strong provisional best time as he covered the undulating course in and around Geneva in 20’11”. That way, the Belgian was rewarded with a place in the hot seat. After more than 90 minutes of waiting in suspense, the time of Campenaerts was only beaten by Primož Roglič, who finished the time trial in an impressive 19’58”. With his third stage victory of the week, the Slovenian secured his second consecutive overall victory in the Tour de Romandie. Norwegian Lotto Soudal rider Carl Fredrik Hagen held on to 15th place on GC after a strong and consistent week of racing in Switzerland.
The curtain fell on the 73th Tour de Romandie today with an individual time trial around Lake Geneva. At around thirteen o’clock, Campenaerts started his over sixteen kilometres long battle against the time. The Belgian covered the course at an average speed of around 50 kilometres an hour and finished in a time of 20’11”. At that moment, he improved the provisional best time set by the Italian Ganna (20’13”) with two seconds. After over 90 nail-biting minutes, only Primož Roglič was able to beat the time of the European time trial champion. The Slovenian took, with a time of 19’58”, not only his third stage win this week, he also more than secured the overall victory.
Victor Campenaerts: “Throughout the week, I already noticed that Roglič was riding on another level, so I knew it would be difficult to beat him today. Of course, I am very disappointed. The prologue, in which I crashed, was a wasted opportunity. I thought about it a lot. I took too many risks and that backfired on me.”
“Today however, I rode the best possible time trial. The first part included some climbing and was really tough but I am very good at riding uphill on my time trial bike. However, there’s still someone who does that even better and that’s Primož Roglič. The team prepared everything to perfection so it’s a pity I can’t reward them with the victory.”
“There was a pretty strong but invariable wind today. So that certainly did not play a part in the victory of Roglič. Due to the headwind and the uphill sections, the toughest part of the time trial was situated in the beginning. Normally, I am more of a relatively slow starter but today, I had the second best time at the intermediate point. That’s of course an indication of the good shape I am in.”
“In the run-up to the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de Romandie has learned me that I easily survive uphill but also that it will be really hard to beat Primož Roglič in the time trials. He always needs to give his all given the good general classification he will pursue. It will be a really tough opponent but of course I will go for victory in all three time trials. Hopefully, I will be able to take the win in one of them. If I could choose, I would prefer to win the first time trial but that will also be the hardest one to do so.”
The first part included some climbing and was really tough but I am very good at riding uphill on my time trial bike.