14 May 2011

De Clercq hangs on for first career victory

8:50 am on 14 May 2011

Rookie cyclist Bart De Clercq clung on for his first career victory at the Giro d'Italia, winning stage seven by half a wheel on the first summit finish of this year's race.

The 24-year-old Omega-Pharma Lotto rider took off seven kilometres from the finish on the Montevergine di Mercogliano climb but his lead evaporated as a 26-strong pack of favourites raised their pace behind.

De Clercq finally claimed a very narrow victory ahead of Italian overall contender Michele Scarponi and Czech Roman Kreuziger while Pieter Weening of Holland remains in the overall lead for a third successive day.