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Lotto Belisol: Francis De Greef Satisfied after First Giro Week

Nine Giro stages have passed. Today the riders enjoy a well-deserved rest day. Lotto Belisol can look back on a more than successful first week with the victory of Adam Hansen in stage 7 from Marina di San Salvo to Pescara. Brian Bulgaç and Dirk Bellemakers made sure the team had publicity by joining a long breakaway. After nine stages Francis De Greef stands on place 31 – 7’40” behind leader Vincenzo Nibali – and he is satisfied after this first part of the Giro. We talked to Cisse for a provisional round-up after a hectic week.

Francis De Greef: “The first I think about when I look back on this week is that there were many crashes. You have to be alert all the time. The day Adam won, I arrived one minute later than the group with GC riders because I got held up due to crashes. Of course it is a pity that you lose precious time. Thursday I was involved in one of the massive crashes myself. A cogwheel hit my Achilles tendon, but it ended well. I had to set up a serious chase, because of the chaos it had taken a while before I got another bike. I was in a group behind Bradley Wiggins, but luckily I could bridge the gap to the front.”

“I am satisfied with my position in the GC. It’s the first time I’m at that place at the first rest day. Usually I have lost more time and I am lower in the classification. The first stages suited me less, there were many explosive hills. On top of that week one is always my most difficult week in a Grand Tour. What follows, suits me better: longer climbs and less explosive ones. So I’m confident about that. I will definitely wait another mountain stage to see how far I can go with the best. Then I will choose one or two stages to anticipate. Hopefully I get some space and I might even battle for a victory.”

“The teammates have helped me already very well, they have confidence in me and bring me to the foot of the climbs in optimal conditions. I am very happy after this first week. Also thanks to the victory of Adam. When you already have a stage win before the first rest day, that takes away the pressure.”

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