Bart De Clercq won the first mountain-top finish of this year’s Giro d’Italia today in Montevergine. He attacked from seven kilometres out, held off the charge of the favourites and had many searching Wikipedia for more information.

They wouldn’t have found much – the English page doesn’t even exist – as the 24 year-old only turned professional this year with Omega Pharma-Lotto. In fact, he’s only been racing for three years.

“I knew he was good, but f**k me, he’s done some good ride today,” British team-mate, Adam Blythe told Cycling Weekly. “It was close, but it doesn’t matter – a win’s a win.”

De Clercq won ahead of Michele Scarponi and Roman Kreuziger, both overall contenders for the race when it ends in two weeks in Milan.

“The speed wasn’t so high and so I tried, just to see where it would end,” De Clercq said in the press conference. “It turned out well. Riders should try to attack a little bit more, sometimes they look at each other too much.”

“I say to all the riders, ‘If you don’t attack, you don’t win.’ We had our chance and we won, that’s the most important thing for us,” sports director, Marc Wauters told Cycling Weekly.

“I was also surprised, though, as he’s only raced five months as a pro.”

De Clercq competed in Track and Field events but injuries sidelined him. He rode occasionally while studying physical education at Ghent University. After he graduated, he started racing because he enjoyed riding, but not because he wanted to be a professional.

“He knows everything already,” Wauters continued. “He did Paris-Nice for the first time and finished it, he’s a good rider.

“He’s really a rider for big tours, maybe he’ll have a good classification the future.”

Wauters added that he believes De Clercq will finish the race, but that a second stage win will be hard, especially since he’s now a marked rider.

“It’s always hard to say what you want you to achieve, now it’s about getting experience,” De Clercq said in the press conference. “You don’t know when you become pro what your possibilities are. It worked well today, though.”

His next accomplishment surely will be having his own Wikipedia page in English. The wins, as he said, will come with gained experience.

Giro d’Italia 2011: Latest news

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Weening supported by Rabobank and model Kroes

Local lad Appollonio bears fruit in Fiuggi

Giro d’Italia News Shorts (May 12 edition)

Blythe finding way in second Grand Tour

Leopard-Trek withdraws from Giro d’Italia

Leopard-Trek uncertain to continue in Giro

Tuesday’s Giro stage in memory of Weylandt

Giro doctor describes actions to save Weylandt

Wouter Weylandt killed in Giro crash

Giro news shorts (May 8)

Cavendish likely to take Giro lead tomorrow

Giro 2011: Who will win?

Kennaugh to lead Team Sky in Giro’s opening stage

Nibali’s Giro fight with Contador may reach the courtroom

Riis defends Contador’s participation in Giro

Cavendish set to start winning again at the Giro

Doping investigations force cyclists out of Giro d’Italia

Kennaugh replaces Pauwels in Sky’s Giro line-up

Contador scouts out the Giro mountains

Cavendish and Millar top list of Giro-bound Brits

Lampre likely for Giro despite doping investigation

Giro announces record 23 teams to race

2011 Giro to start in Turin with team time trial

Giro goes one up on the Tour with spectacular route

Nygaard, Sciandri and Lloyd comment on 2011 Giro route

Nibali’s Giro d’Italia?

Giro d’Italia 2011: Stage reports



Stage seven: Neo-pro De Clercq wins by a whisker



Stage six: Ventoso steals Giro stage six win


Stage five: Weening holds on to take stage and maglia rosa



Stage four: Tearful Farrar and Leopard-Trek lead riders across stage four finish line



Stage three: Vicioso victory overshadowed by Weylandt crash



Stage two: Petacchi wins as Cavendish takes lead



Stage one: HTC-Highroad wins Giro’s opening team time trial

Giro d’Italia 2011: Photo galleries

Stage



seven photo gallery by Graham Watson


Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage four photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Giro d’Italia 2011: Live text coverage



Giro d’Italia 2011 stage seven live text updates



Giro d’Italia 2011 stage five live text updates



Follow the 2011 Giro d’Italia live with Cycling Weekly

Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list



Giro d’Italia 2011: Start list

Giro d’Italia 2011: TV schedule



Giro d’Italia 2011: British Eurosport TV schedule

Related links



Giro d’Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index

 

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  • MikeCope

    A great ride and well deserved victory – still the Belgies are showing everyone else how to ride !

  • Hadyn Bosher @ 78in Thailand

    A great ride from him to a very boring stage,a big ring climb,what do you expect,whenever Harman and Kelly says “there will be fireworks”,nothing happens!!!,and they do EXAGERATE don’t they??,especially, ex-mountain biker!!! Harmon.