Harm Vanhoucke ‘unbelievably disappointed’ after crash takes him out of Giro d’Italia stage hunt

MONTALCINO ITALY MAY 19 Harm Vanhoucke of Belgium and Team Lotto Soudal at arrival during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 12 a 162km stage from Perugia to Montalcino 554m girodiitalia UCIworldtour Giro on May 19 2021 in Montalcino Italy Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images
Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) finishing stage 11 of the Giro d'Italia and wondering what could have been (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) cut a disconsolate figure at the end of stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia after the chance of a win slipped through his fingers after a late crash and enforced bike change. The Belgian had been part of the winning break that took on the dirt roads to Montalcino and with teammate Roger Kluge by his side, the duo were well placed to contest the stage win after the peloton allowed the move to build up a fifteen minute lead before the first of four sectors of gravel roads. 

However inside the final 10 kilometres, after the initial 11-man group had been whittled down to just a handful of riders, Vanhoucke crashed. He valiantly chased but was unable to make contact with the leaders. Mauro Schmid (Team Qhubeka Assos) beat Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates) to the line with Vanhoucke forced to settle for third, 26 seconds off the winner’s time. Kluge, more accustomed to working for Caleb Ewan – but a Giro stage winner in his own right – finished seventh. 

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