Campenaerts finds love with TT stunt
Victor Campenaerts finished in 182nd place, nearly 11 minutes down, in the stage 10 time trial at the Giro d'Italia, but he'll consider his day a great success after bagging himself a shot at romance.
The Belgian time trial champion, who soft-pedalled around the course to save himself for domestique duties, unzipped his skinsuit on the start ramp and again at the finish line to reveal the message 'Carlien daten?' – Carlien, date?
And it worked… "I couldn't say no," said the real Carlien Carvel on Studio Brussels, having been successfully tracked down in the mini media storm caused by the stunt.
"I was not prepared and did not see the images live. I came from a meeting at work and suddenly had a lot of missed calls and messages. A journalist called me and told me the story."
It transpired she and Campenaerts have known each other for a while and shared training sessions as she used to do triathlons.
"Victor also called me yesterday. We just have to pick a date," she added. "I would like to eat and ride a bike, but maybe he won't want to after the Giro. I certainly do not want to go to the movies. I always fall asleep."
24 hours with Tom Dumoulin - video
Tom Dumoulin put himself in a great position to win the 100th edition of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday's time trial, and the Sunweb team have celebrated his taking of the pink jersey with a video giving an insight into the Dutchman and the day that the Giro swung in his favour.
Entitled 'The Maglia Rosa! 24 hours with Tom Dumoulin at the Giro d'Italia', the video shows the 26-year-old arriving at the start of stage 10, pinning on his dossard and then his reaction to the stage win and race lead.
"You really have to want it," says Dumoulin at the start of the video, explaining what drives him. "The mental game is much bigger than the physical game. It gives me pleasure to always keep improving myself, to be better than others, to win races to ride my bike in beautiful scenery. That's what I like most about cycling."
The Giro concludes with another time trial in Milan but before then there are plenty of mountains to be negotiated, where Dumoulin will have to defend against an expected onslaught from Nairo Quintana. Dumoulin admits he is not a natural climber but the work he has done this winter has paid dividends – proven on Blockhaus where he finished third and lost just 25 seconds to Quintana.
"The long climbs are always very difficulty for me. Cycling is a mental game – especially the long climbs. Those were really a mental struggle for me, to keep pushing and pushing, and that's going a lot better for me now."
Kruijswijk suggests change of focus
Two disappointing performances back-to-back have caused Steven Kruijswijk to recalibrate his ambitions in the Giro d'Italia, with the Dutchman suggesting his best chance of success is now a stage win in the final week.
The LottoNL-Jumbo rider was among the pre-race favourites, having come agonizingly close to winning last year's race but he couldn't keep pace on the Blockhaus summit finish on Sunday, losing 2:43 to Nairo Quintana. Tuesday’s stage 10 time trial was supposed to be a chance to dig in and claw back some time on many of those around him in the top 10, but he finished 2.43 down on stage winner Tom Dumoulin.
Kruijswijk now finds himself 10th overall, 5:19 down on Dumoulin.
"I do not feel I've made a step forward in my form, otherwise I'd have finished near the top," said Kruijswijk, the 20th to 2.43 from Tom Dumoulin.
Although the top 10 remains a realistic prospect and the top 5 worth fighting for, Kruijswijk suggested he'd be changing his focus from now on. "I have to keep myself sharp and not slow down. I hope to improve for the last week or to get something in order to tackle it from now on in a different way."
Mollema into top 3 with solid TT
Tom Dumoulin stole the show on the stage 10 time trial at the Giro d'Italia but another Dutchman, Bauke Mollema, put in another assured performance to move into the top three overall.
The Trek-Segafredo rider, who was fourth at Blockhaus on Sunday, rider finished 10th on the stage and, although he lost 2:17 to Dumoulin, he put time into Thibaut Pinot and others below him on GC.
"I think 10th place was good for me. Okay, the difference to Dumoulin is pretty big, even bigger than I expected, but compared to the other GC riders I gained time on most of them, except Nibali who was a few seconds in front. I think it was a pretty good day," said Mollema in conclusion. You not often have a TT of 40km full gas because it was more or less always in the aero position; there was not much time to recover.
"The last part was really hard for me. I think at the start I was okay, but in the last 10km I lost maybe 10-20 seconds too much. It was headwind, and I couldn't really keep the rhythm, so there I was really suffering. But in general, the start was good, and technically it was a good TT."
Mollema sits third overall at 2:23 and, while Dumoulin has put himself way out in front, the rest of the top five is tightly packed. Nairo Quintana is second at 2:23, while Pinot lies two seconds behind Mollema and Vincenzo Nibali a further seven seconds back.