TechPowered By

More tech

Video: Bak makes perfect move to get first solo Grand Tour win at Giro

Cycling News
May 17, 2012, 21:30 BST,
May 17, 2012, 23:07 BST
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, May 18, 2012
Giro d'Italia, Stage 12
Lars Bak (Lotto Belisol) on the descent to the finish

Lars Bak (Lotto Belisol) on the descent to the finish

view thumbnail gallery

Veteran Dane claims crafty success in Giro's hilly stage

Lars Bak (Lotto-Bellisol) scored a superb lone stage 12 win in the Giro d'Italia today, blasting away 1.7 kilometres from the finish line in Sestri Levante for his first-ever individual Grand Tour victory at 32.

Bak was part of the HTC squad that won the team time trials in the 2011 Giro and the 2010 Vuelta a Espana, but today was the first time he was able to soak the limelight up in a Grand Tour in his own right.

Riding the 155-kilometre stage as if it were a one-day Classic,strength and strategic timing both played their part in netting the former Tour du Porvenir winner and triple national time trial champion Lotto-Bellisol's first Giro success of 2012.

"I tried to save my energy right until the end, because I knew this breakaway was going to make it to the finish, the climbs weren't so hard," Bak said afterwards.

"I could see that [Sandy] Casar (FDJ-Big Mat) was the strongest of the other breakaways, he was always closing down the attacks, and he'd won stages in the Tour de France, so I knew I had to watch him. And [Jan] Bakelants (RadioShack-Nissan) is also fast."

"The attacks [by the break] were brought back three times, and then I came from behind and went for it. I got 200 metres, then 300 metres. They hesitated a bit, then a bit more, but then I was away, I'd taken my chance."

As Bak pointed out, he's not a climber or a sprinter so he has to get in breakaways. However, he is a good time triallist, and after getting away, he certainly exploited that skill to the full in the crucial last part of the run-in to the finish.

"I've maybe won 10 races in my career, but I've almost always won them from late attacks," Bak said. "So I knew what I had to do."

"I'd like to thank my sponsors, Lotto-Bellisol, too. They kept their faith in me after I broke my hand during the Classics season and couldn't race. They said I should do the Giro instead, but without any pressure. And that was perfect for me."

Next up after the Giro for Bak is - probably - the Tour de France, where Bak will work for team leaders André Greipel, Jurgen Van Den Broeck and Jelle Vanendert. But with a Giro win in his stage, he's also had his own chance to shine in 2012.

Back to top