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Rik after stage 7.... more elaborate reaction
 
By Celine Tytgadt
Date: 5/21/2002
Rik after stage 7.... more elaborate reaction
 
The fact that Lotto-rider Rik Verbrugghe would win on Sunday was already feasible in the morning. Verbrugghe made it very clear to Walter Planckaert of the team management that he would be in an escape that day.

Riks reaction for the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: "Let's put it this way: I would have preferred winning the prologue because that comes together with the pink jersey. And Limone Piemonte, look, I was having some troubles with a cold, the polles in the air. Those few flat stages did me well to put everything out of my head and to be healthy again. The sea air did me well."

Rik is also very happy with the way he won the seventh stage of the Giro: "Winning is wonderfull, but the way how needs to be satisfying. This reminds me a bit of Fleche Wallonne of last year. Going away with a few companions and then finish it off at the right time. A succes I think high off. This is the Giro you know!"

As Rik left his companions behind at around 10 km from the finish, he had more poursuiers than expected. All of a sudden a dog came on the road. "That with the dog was the most dangerous. Luckily, I saw the little animal on time. And those curves? It might have looked more spectacular than it was. Did I have a choice? I didn't know exactly how much space I had. Besides, there were still 10 km ahead of me with a strong headwind. I had to take risks."

If asked about the classification, he said it was never out of his mind. "I am a little bit further away than expected, that's true. But just a handfull of minutes is no big deal with all the big climbs at the doorstep. It's not because I went for a stage win that I forgot the rest. Who wants to go for the classification needs to try and win a stage as well. Now we got things started." He definitely sounded selfsecure.

 
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