Campenaerts runner-up in second Giro time trial


Victor Campenaerts finished second today in the over 34 kilometres long hilly time trial between Riccione and San Marino. Despite a bike change at the very end, Campenaerts set – with an impressive time of 52’03” - an early mark. For a long time, no one was able to beat the time of the European champion against the clock. Only the Slovenian Primoz Roglič – who, just like the other general classification contenders needed to ride his time trial in soaking wet conditions – was faster than Campenaerts, he won with a time of 51’52”. A strong Thomas De Gendt finished eighteenth, Valerio Conti held on to the pink leader’s jersey.

Victor Campenaerts: “Beforehand, I said that this time trial did not suit me perfectly and that winning wasn’t possible but as a time trialist, you are obliged to optimally prepare for a test against the clock and to go full gas. During the second Giro time trial last year, I was constantly fighting myself but today I immediately felt that I had good legs.”

“The plan was to ride just below threshold until the climb and then ride above threshold; a strategy similar to the one I used during the world championships in Innsbruck. As a time trialist, it is very frustrating when you get a mechanical. Eventually, it was good that - like we had agreed - the mechanic opted for the road bike. We did agree beforehand - if I would have a mechanical on the climb - we would change to the road bike. The change did not go fluently and due to the adrenaline, I was a bit frustrated after the finish. Then, I thought that there would still be five to ten general classification riders who would improve my time, but one after another, they didn’t succeed.”

“I had mixed feelings then. If I would have won, the bike change would have been immediately forgotten. If not, I would be cursing. Unfortunately, it became the latter. Eventually, I lose the time trial with eleven seconds, so without that mechanical it would have been a victory. But those are the hard laws of the top-level sport and I have to live with that. I don’t blame anyone. The final time trial should suit me even better. I hope to survive the mountains without too many troubles and energy losses to battle for victory in Verona.”

The final stage win in the 4 Jours de Dunkerque was decided in a bunch sprint. The Dutchman Mike Teunissen - who started the final day as the leader - brought Jumbo-Visma a fifth stage win. Lotto Soudal rider Enzo Wouters sprinted to sixth place. Jens Keukeleire completed the top ten and secured his third place in the general classification.