Lars Bak's win in the twelfth stage of the Giro d'Italia has turned the Lotto Beilsol rider into a much-sought-after man. Bjarne Riis has said that his young Team Saxo Bank riders can learn something from Bak, while Team Sky has admitted it would have liked to have signed him.
The 32-year-old Dane won the stage from Seravazza to Sestri Levante in a solo effort out of an escape group. The group had gotten away 50km into the stage, and Bak took off alone with about 1.5km to go to claim the biggest win of his career.
Bak had ridden for Riis' teams fro five years, from 2005 to 2009, and obviously left a good impression on the team principal. “I would like to see even more riders – even among my own – have the same sense of fight as Lars Bak. He says to himself: Now I'm going to go out and do it. Lar Bak did it and fought for it until he got his way. That's what it takes,” Riis wrote in the Ekstra Bladet newspaper.
“The young riders in the field can really learn something from a guy like Lars Bak. He continues to push himself – and if you have the will, the results will come sooner or later. That's how you should ride a race, I think.”
Another Dane in team management joined the chorus of praise for Bak. Carsten Jeppesen, Team Sky's director of Operations, told the B.T. newspaper that he would very much have liked to have Bak on the team.
“The only thing I really would like to change on this team right now is that I wanted a Dane. I would really have liked Lars Bak on board. I'm a little put out that we failed to obtain him, as he would fit well into our our team both as a person and as a rider,” he said.