Giro d’Italia – Stage 11 – Stef Clement «Every day is a fight, and today the descent was the battlefield»

21 May 2015

IAM Cycling

Giro d’Italia 2015

Monotony is not a word that exists in the Giro d’Italia.  Every stage is proof of this truism.  Less than 24 hours after the 2-minute penalty imposed on Richie Porte (Sky), the favorites are still playing with fire on the wet and slippery roads of Emilia-Romagna.  The recent winner of the Tour of Romandie, Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha), was once again a surprise success after taking advantage of a breakaway situation to go solo for a stage win on the race car circuit for Enzo and Dino Ferrari.  For its part, IAM Cycling remained somewhat discreet within the bunch despite Sylvain Chavanel’s presence in the first breakaway of the day.  The large group split in two, following a super-fast downhill pushed by the favorite teams, and when the dust settled, only Stef Clement remained in the main group of forty riders for IAM Cycling.

Giro d’Italia 2015

When asked about his day, Clement was not too surprised with how the stage unfolded.  “Every stage is a fight and today the battle ground was the descent.  Chavanel tried his luck before being caught.  And then it was just a matter of remaining in the first half of the peloton.  Of course everyone knows this, but it is still tricky to be in the right place at the right time, since there simply isn’t room for everyone.  Every day there is something happening, and that just demonstrates once again how difficult it can be to get a result during this race.  The whole team must keep learning and remembering our lessons that we have been having since the beginning of the Giro.”

Rik Verbrugghe, the team’s sports manager sitting next to Kjell Carlström in the team car no. 1, was able to confirm Clement, the team’s road captain’s assessment: “We tried to join the breakaway for the day with Sylvain Chavanel, but he was pulled back.  Then there was an incident of youthful indiscretion, even after our cautioning in the morning briefing before the race.  It was always going to be important for the guys to ride in the front positions of the peloton on the descents.  But despite this warning, most of them still managed to miss out on being in the main group when the splits happened.  This is unfortunate, but I’m sure that this will serve as a valuable lesson for all the guys.  And in any case, tomorrow is another opportunity.”