Cian Uijtdebroeks is satisfied with his first week at the Giro: “I’m on the right track”

Cian Uijtdebroeks is satisfied with his first week at the Giro: “I’m on the right track”
Cian Uijtdebroeks is satisfied with his first week at the Giro: “I’m on the right track”

The first rest day of the Tour of Italy was appreciated by the riders, after an opening week that was already tough and full of pitfalls. Which Cian Uijtdebroeks knew how to avoid. Fifth in the general classification and wearing the white jersey for best young person, he has a smile. Even if it’s no surprise: the talented runner from Abolens always has a smile!

What the international press is discovering more and more: colleagues from other countries questioned him a lot on this subject this Monday, during his press conference. “I’m like that, I smile simply because I love what I do, because I love riding a bike, he replied. “Having a positive attitude also allows you to deal with difficult times more easily. Don’t forget that a Grand Tour means a lot of suffering!”

If his smile was very wide, it’s because the leader for the race for the pink jersey of Visma | Lease a Bike is relieved to have passed this first week without damage. “It wasn’t the Giro stage that suited me better, I feared the gravel stage, because I had never ridden this kind of stage and also the long time trial. I certainly lost time on the clock, but I felt that I improved a lot in this area since I joined my new team. At my age, finding myself fifth in the general classification and best young rider in the Giro after the first week, I think it’s a good result. I give myself 8 out of 10. I’m on the right track.”

After announcing that he was aiming for the Top 10 for the second big tour of his career, is he revising his ambitions upwards? “Not really. I keep the same goal. Give it my all every day and see where it takes me. If it’s on the podium, that would be fantastic, obviously. But I don’t give myself a specific place. I continue to learn. Riding at the start of the season with Vingegaard and Kuus was a great learning experience, especially about being a leader like I am here.”

A world of difference compared to the last Vuelta, where there was an internal struggle at Bora-hansgrohe with Vlasov. “The current situation suits me well, the atmosphere in the team is very good and Kooij’s victory in the sprint did us a lot of good after the retirements of Gesink and Laporte. But also all the hard blows suffered recently by our team, with the falls of Vingegaard and van Aert.”

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“Pogacar? He’s on another planet!”

How does he view Pogacar? “He’s on another planet! When a guy wins everything, there are always comments about him. But he is appreciated in the peloton. Behind him, the fight looks interesting over the next two weeks.” Which he hopes to slip into. Especially since he is delighted to start riding again this Tuesday with an arrival at the top of a first category pass (Bocca della Selva). “Great milestones are coming. I like the one on Sunday in Livigno a lot. The harder it is, the longer it is, the higher it is, the more I like it!”

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