Sunday, May 19, 2024

Giro d’Italia | “This is really fantastic” – broad smile with white jersey Cian Uijtdebroeks after Oropa

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It is now a familiar sight: a cheerful and broadly smiling Cian Uijtdebroeks in front of the cameras at a cycling race. This is no different at the highest level either. Seventh place in the stage towards Oropa – won by Tadej Pogacar – gave the Belgian fourth place in the general classification and the youth jersey.

How did the Belgian experience the day? “I still didn’t know how I was going to react on a slightly shorter climb. Then lies the power a little higher and it is a little shorter, that sometimes suits me less,” Uijtdebroeks delved into the unknown. “I should be better off than yesterday, though.”

“In the end I felt really good,” the 21-year-old rider continued enthusiastically. “Then at the end that sprint, that is not my strength. I just rode to the finish as fast as I could and the white jersey wasn’t on my mind at all. When I heard I had it, it was fantastic.”

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Giro d’Italia | Tadej Pogacar does it like Marco Pantani – Win after bad luck at Santuario di Oropa

Rome is still far away

However, our Eurosport reporter Iris Sklapdel wanted to crack a serious note, by saying that Uijtdebroeks was now fourth and had said in advance not to focus on a ranking. Will that be different now that a virtual podium is in the picture? “It’s still a long game,” the new white jersey still couldn’t suppress his laugh.

“There are still many days that we have to get through, such as days when the weather is bad, the time trials and the high mountains. Of course there are still many opportunities to improve, but it is such a long game,” Uijtdebroeks said honestly. “We are taking it day by day and I am already going to enjoy being able to wear that (white) jersey tomorrow.”

Team Visma | Lease A Bike could use some positive news after the retirement of Robert Gesink and the falls of Olav Kooij and Attila Valter. “It’s a shame that Robert had to get out, we haven’t had much luck yet. Today Attila and Olav who fell… I haven’t spoken to them yet, but I hope they are both okay.”

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Giro d’Italia | Olav Kooij falls towards Oropa – Team Visma | Lease A Bike hit again

Hard course

“Luck is not yet on our side in the team at the moment,” Uijtdebroeks introduced a song of praise. “I must say: the men protected me fantastically today. They stayed with me all day, it is fantastic to be protected by top athletes.”

INEOS Grenadiers sometimes went crazy in terms of pace. Or that Uijtdebroeks helped? “They drove remarkably fast and are certainly not afraid of UAE. That only makes the race even harder and is to the advantage of (Geraint) Thomas. And I quite like it too,” a broad smile appeared again. “So it was very hard, but good in the end.”

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Giro d’Italia | Kooij & Jakobsen vs. Merlier in first Giro sprint – Course Stage 3

Where are you looking?

We are on our way for the first big tour of the year. You can follow the 107th Giro d’Italia live from kilometer one in Venaria Reale to the final kilometer in Rome via Eurosport and discovery+! Don’t miss any of it La Corsa Rosa and see if Tadej Pogacar can win his first Giro. Also follow our channel on WhatsApp.

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