Silence-Lotto's Giro d'Italia surprise package, Jurgen Van den Broeck, once again made inroads to a possible top 10 finish after yesterday's mountain time trial. The Belgian finished an impressive 12th, dropping just one place overall to ninth.
"I am really happy with my time," the 25 year-old said. "I was able to hold stay within two minutes of Pellizotti. Before the start I was hoping to stay within three. That is obviously really good."
Van Den Broeck was forced to return to the bike weigh-in twice after it was found that his bike was under the UCI's weight limit of 6.8kg. After fitting a second drink bottle cage to his bike he was again asked to add extra weight before the start.
"Just like I thought, after riding the course in the morning, the stage was extremely tough, with a hard climb," he said. "I hope to never have to do something like that again in my career."
Van Den Broeck explained that although it was tough to recover during the time trial from the steeper sections, he did feel that he rode the second part of the climb better than the first.
"With this 12th place I finished one place higher than in the flat time trial a week ago in Urbino," he said. "I can enter the rest day with a clear conscience. I have survived three enormous days well.
"If I can survive the next two mountain stages as well then there is a top 10 finish in it [for me]," he added. "But I will begin to dream on Sunday in Milan. It is sometimes a strange feeling to be riding amongst the big boys such as [Alberto] Contador, [Danilo] Di Luca, [Denis] Menchov, [Ricardo] Ricco and others. Sometimes I can barely believe it myself that it really is true," he concluded.