The 23-year-old from Jette made us proud again with another great ride.
Saturday scheduled the penultimate stage of the race – incidentally, one of the toughest individual time trials in history, an 18.6km effort featuring the brutal climb of Monte Lussari. Five kilometers in length and boasting an insane 15.3% average gradient, this feared ascent ended up playing a decisive role in the outcome of the Giro d’Italia, as well as producing some significant chances in the upper echelon of the general classification.
One of these had in the spotlight Soudal Quick-Step’s Ilan Van Wilder, who turned out the time trial of his career so far. The Belgian had a fast start, which put him in the top five at the first checkpoint, and continued in the same vein, averaging a solid 24km/h and stopping the clock in 46:20. The result he scored at the end of the stage which was won by Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) elevated him one place in the standings, up to 12th, ahead of the final stage to Rome, one for the sprinters.
“It has been a very hard Giro d’Italia for us, we had a lot of bad luck and many setbacks after a great start, but we continued to fight and showed that we remain a Wolfpack even with two guys left in the race. I had pretty strong legs on this stage and did my best on a course that I didn’t really like, because the climb was too steep for me. To finish this time trial just outside the top 10 and gain a position in the GC made for quite a good day”, a smiling Ilan said.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images