Victor Campenaerts to shave his beard and go for pink in Jerusalem
May 01 2018 07:41 pm CET

Victor Campenaerts to shave his beard and go for pink in Jerusalem
Victor Campenaerts to shave his beard and go for pink in Jerusalem
Photo of Victor Campenaerts by Lotto Soudal

Lotto-Soudal rider Victor Campenaerts travels to Israel with one goal only: the pink jersey after the opening prologue. The Belgian has made time trialing his specialty and his three pro victories so far have all been in time trials, most importantly the European Championships ITT last year.

Last year Campenaerts was not allowed to do the final time trial in the Giro full gas, because the team management of his former team LottoNL-Jumbo wanted him to save his strength to help leader Steven Kruijswijk in the final week. This year, at Lotto-Soudal, there is no Kruijswijk or another GC leader, giving Campenaerts the freedom to focus fully on his time trials. Last year he did manage to generate a lot of attention during the time trial, even though he was far from winning. During the race he opened his shirt and showed the writing on his chest saying: 'Carlien daten?' Even though his request was successful and the two went on a date, the team management was less happy.

This year the time trial specialist moved to the Belgian Lotto-Soudal team and he has absolute freedom when it comes to time trialing. Campenaerts aims at the prologue in Jerusalem: "I absolutely want to win the first pink jersey in the opening time trial. The distance might not be ideal, as I prefer a longer course. However, the same goes for Tom Dumoulin. The course is wavy, but on nice roads. The corners are not too technical. I think Rohan Dennis will be the toughest opponent for the win."

The last few weeks the European time trial champion has done everything to prepare himself as good as possible for his main goal of the season, and he has been doing a lot of work in the wind tunnel. "We found out that my new helmet is a lot faster than the old one. Don’t think it can gain me ten seconds, but it could be second and a second might be what I need to win," says Campenaerts to Belgian sports outlet Sporza.

When asked about a secret weapon the Belgian replies: "I will definitely shave my beard. I once left it on before a pursuit on the track and when I shaved before the second pursuit, I went fifteen seconds faster.

Campenaerts last victory dates back to the European Championships in August last year. This season he rode four time trials. He finished second in the Volta ao Algarve in February and 16th in the Tirreno-Addriatico time trial. The last two time trials were in the Tour de Romandie, where he finished 5th in the prologue and outside the time limit on the mountain time trial. Together with Dennis, Dumoulin and Jos van Emden, Campenaerts is one of the favourites for pink this Friday in Jerusalem.

By Siebe Kok



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