Defending champion Campenaerts about the Belgian time trial championship
The world Hour Record holder previews the test against the clock in Middelkerke.
Lotto Soudal rider Victor Campenaerts took his first WorldTour victory in San Benedetto del Tronto today! Early in the time trial, the European champion set an impressive time of 11’23”. After more than two nail-biting hours in the hot seat, the Belgian could finally breathe a sigh of relief as no one was able to beat his time. Alberto Bettiol (11’26”) and Jos van Emden (11’27”) finished second and third, respectively. In the battle for the overall victory, it was eventually Primoz Roglič who took the win, beating Adam Yates by only one second.
Around a quarter to two, Victor Campenaerts left the start ramp in the closing time trial of Tirreno-Adriatico. The Belgian Lotto Soudal rider set - with a time of 11’23” - an early mark. Time trial specialists such as Jos van Emden, Rohan Dennis and Stefan Küng were not able to improve the top time set by Campenaerts. Also Tom Dumoulin and Primoz Roglič could not reach out their hand to the stage victory. After two Belgian and two European time trial titles for Campenaerts, it is now his first victory on WorldTour level.
Victor Campenaerts: “It feels amazing to take my first victory in a WorldTour time trial. I was already close last year and also this year, I started the season with the goal of winning in the WorldTour. If that succeeds in the first time trial of the season, that’s of course fantastic! With for example Küng and van Emden - a real short-distance specialist - the world’s best time triallists were here today. Moreover, I hadn’t been able to beat Tom Dumoulin and Rohan Dennis before. That’s of course a big satisfaction. The team time trial gave me an idea about my shape, but of course you want to confirm that in-race, which also succeeded.”
“It was quite windy today and until the intermediate point, we had a tailwind. So, I tried to save some energy during the first kilometres as I rode just beneath my average wattage. That also explains my time at the intermediate time check. Then, I would try - with some power left in the legs - to make the difference in the second part of the race. That strategy turned out to be the right one. During the final kilometre, I had the feeling that I went a little above my limit, but eventually everything worked out. After I finished, I still had to wait for over two hours in the hot seat. In the end, some really strong guys like Dumoulin and Roglič still had to start but eventually, no one was able to beat my time. Everything I do is in light of the Hour Record, but my victory today is a really good sign.”