Development Lennert Van Eetvelt soloes to victory in Giro d'Italia U23

Lotto Soudal Development rider wins difficult mountain.
Race 17 June 2022

Lennert Van Eetvelt has won the sixth stage of the Giro d’Italia Giovani. It’s the first time in the history of the U23 team of Lotto Soudal that a rider wins a stage in this race.

Van Eetvelt, who will become a pro rider at Lotto Soudal next year, soloed to victory on the Colle Fauniera, at almost 2500 metres of altitude. He had a comfortable lead of 1’16” on French rider Lenny Martinez. Teammate William Junior Lecerf crossed the finish line 2’45” after Van Eetvelt, as third. Van Eetvelt is second on GC with one stage to go, 2’55” down on British rider Leo Hayter. Lecerf is now fourth, behind Martinez.

Lennert Van Eetvelt: “This is wonderful, I am over the moon. I was part of a large breakaway of 26, together with my teammates Ramses Debruyne and Vincent Van Hemelen. The others were looking at us, but we kept calm. At the bottom of the final climb we had one and a half minutes lead over the bunch. I decided to just follow my own pace. I didn’t want to take the risk to go over my limit. When the climb got steeper, I took the lead of the group. Each time I looked behind me, I saw less riders on my wheel. That boosted my confidence. I still expected Martinez to bridge the gap from the peloton, but luckily I could maintain enough lead. Still, I couldn’t enjoy the last kilometre as it was suffering till the end, but once I had passed the finish line I could enjoy the moment. In the beginning I was only thinking of improving my GC position, but it is amazing that I was able to win the stage. And it’s all the better that my teammate William Junior Lecerf claimed the third place.”

William Junior Lecerf: “With our three teammates in the break, Alec Segaert and I could take it relatively easy in the bunch. We knew everything would be decided on the climb towards the finish. I managed to keep up with GC leader Leo Hayter and in the last five hundred metres I could leave him behind and conquer the third place. Lenny Martinez had attacked before, but I didn’t want to take the risk that my legs would explode so I didn’t even try to follow him. I got sixth on stage three and now third. And I am fourth overall. I wouldn’t have dared to dream this before the Giro.”

Image: Giro d'Italia U23.

In this article