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"To win the mountain jersey luck will have to be on my side, but I thought it would be crazy not to take those points for the mountain classification, Wellens says

Photo: Sirotti






28.05.2014 @ 20:32 Posted by Andy Pedersen

In his first Giro d'Italia, Tim Wellens has been a protagonist and his aggressive riding has been rewarded with two runner-up spots. Today he again finished 2nd in a Giro stage and although he also moved into third in the KOM standings, he admits that he needs luck to ride into Trieste in the maglia azzurra.


For the second time in this Giro Tim Wellens ended up with a second place. The seventeenth stage took the riders from Sarnonico to Vittorio Veneto. There were three climbs of fourth category on the 208 kilometers long course.


It took many kilometers before a break was formed. Lars Bak and Tim Wellens got in a front group of twenty-six. In the final five riders got ahead, among them Wellens. It was Stefano Pirazzi who took the victory.


After about seventy kilometers the break of the day was formed. Twenty-five riders took off, with Lotto Belisol riders Lars Bak and Tim Wellens. Later Frapporti bridged. In the front group were among other Cunego, De Gendt, Gasparotto and Pirazzi.


The peloton let them go and arrived 15'36" after the winner at the finish. Tim Wellens passed the intermediate sprint first and was the best on the first two climbs. De Gendt attacked with thirty kilometers to go.


The last hill came ten kilometers further up the road and was a tough one; only one kilometer long but with parts up to 18%. On the top Pirazzi joined De Gendt. Wellens bridged later, just like Montaguti and McCarthy. Pirazzi attacked just before the last kilometer sign and that was the decisive moment. Wellens crossed tje three seconds later on the second place. Bak was fifteenth.


"It was a hard race from the start, Adam Hansen tried to get away. Eventually a large group could take off. Oss and De Gendt made the first move, Lars and I could join. Because almost all teams had a man in the break we were sure we would get lots of space. We weren't riding very fast and still we kept gaining time on the peloton, so we soon knew we would battle for the stage win," said Tim Wellens.


"To win the mountain jersey luck will have to be on my side, but I thought it would be crazy not to take those points for the mountain classification. So I made sure to grab the three points on the first two climbs. When Thomas De Gendt attacked I rode around tenth position, too far behind to react.


“The last climb was very steep and because of the rain very slippery, that's why you had to stay in the saddle. Also the descent was slippery, some riders of our group crashed. In that descent I joined De Gendt and Pirazzi together with two others.


"I was behind Pirazzi when he attacked just before entering the final kilometer. I hesitated to jump with him. I took a chance and hoped someone else would close the gap. When you don't win, you always have to be disappointed, but with two second places I can't complain. Maybe I'll get in a breakaway again tomorrow."



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