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Lloyd takes first pro win in Europe

By:
Jean-François Quénet
Published:
May 14, 2010, 20:00 BST,
Updated:
May 14, 2010, 21:05 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, May 14, 2010
Race:
Giro d'Italia
Giro d'Italia stage 6 winner Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma Lotto) on the podium.

Giro d'Italia stage 6 winner Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma Lotto) on the podium.

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Australian says cycling is about emotion, not numbers

The Giro d'Italia organisation played AC/DC while Matt Lloyd appeared on stage to get his prize as the winner of stage 6 in Marina di Carrara.

Half an hour later, the 26-year-old Australian was still emotional about winning when he spoke to the press. "In cycling, everyone says it's about progression," said Lloyd. "This is progression. We hear about data, analysis...I never looked at it that way. For me, a race is just made of emotions. The numbers can vindicate whatever they do, but not the emotion of being on the podium. If you win, it makes it special. Ninety-nine percent of the time, you don't win."

Since he joined Predictor-Lotto in 2007, Lloyd only had the 2008 Australian national championship under his belt as a professional. Today's Giro d'Italia victory is his first pro win in Europe.

Last year Lloyd had a very bad crash at the Amstel Gold Race. He suffered a fractured sacrum and six broken vertebrae but he resumed riding 12 days later and completed the Tour de France (46th overall) and the Vuelta a España (50th overall) at the service of compatriot Cadel Evans, who sometimes called him "my little brother" when they were teammates.

Evans' departure to BMC might have provided an opportunity for Lloyd to pursue his own interests in stage six of the Giro d'Italia, but the climber from Melbourne doesn't see it that way. "I don't think in any way that Cadel would not have let me go," Lloyd said. "It's a group mentality. A team is a distribution of resources free of mind. With Cadel, you can win races. His departure had no impact on today's stage for me. Like at the national championship I won, he was the first person to congratulate me. It means a lot."

Lloyd described the Giro d'Italia as "destruction". "The beauty of this race is that even if you're one and half hours behind at the end of the first week, you can still be in top five at the end," he said with a laugh. "To ride for GC wasn't for me this year but who knows, I might be back on GC in three weeks." Lloyd is currently 43rd overall, 9:34 behind Vincenzo Nibali.

Lloyd possesses a legendary calm which will serve him well through the difficult days ahead at the Giro. At an Omega Pharma-Lotto training camp, Lloyd amazed everyone when riders had to rate feelings from 1 to 10. To the word "stress", he didn't answer. "I don't know what stress is," he said.

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