Jakob Söderqvist wins Giro Next Gen Stage 1

After 3 hours in the hotseat, Jakob Söderqvist climbs the podium as stage winner and race leader

How it happened

The new-look version of Giro Next Gen started with an 8.8km individual time trial in Aosta. Jakob Söderqvist started the time trial as one of the top favorites, having already shown his prowess against the clock at Tour de la Provence and Tour de Bretagne. The Swedish powerhouse was one of the early starters, and set a blisteringly fast time of 10’49” to top the standings. After close to three hours spent anxiously watching riders finish one after the other, Söderqvist could breathe a sigh of relief as his time remained unbeaten and he emerged as the stage winner and first leader of the Giro Next Gen.

The winner’s reaction

“I think the prediction was around 47kmh, in the pacing plan, but I am happy to over-achieve that on such a technical and elevated course, it was for sure a pretty quick speed. I’m super happy with that. I’m very happy with how I rode technically in the last part of the race. I was a bit scared because I had a few crashes before this race and I was scared of losing confidence but for sure I was close to the limit but I felt in control, so I’m really happy with the feeling I had. I was helped by the flat part before [the climb], but also I could save some for the steeper parts because I need a lot to climb as fast as the other guys. For sure it’s a special thing, I won’t be in a climber’s jersey to many times. It’s my biggest time trial win for sure, and it could be one of the biggest wins for me this year. I had to deal with some pressure, but I think we do it really well in our team and I’m really happy to have performed as I should with the setup we have.”