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Giro notebook stage 12: NetApp getting closer; Bak nabs first grand tour win

First career grand tour stage-win for Bak

Lars Bak (Lotto- Belisol) timed it just right to deliver a dramatic solo victory out of a winning breakaway to secure his first career grand tour win in Thursday’s 12th stage.

Bak surged with less than 2km to go to catch his attacking rivals off guard. A solid time trialist, the hard-working Bak buried his head and drove home his first victory in three seasons.

“I tried to save my energy for the end,” he said. “I could see that Sandy Casar was the strongest in the breakaway. I had the luck and the perfect timing. When the others hesitated a little bit, I got 200 or 300 meters and I knew they could not close the gap. Sometimes you need a bit of luck.”

Bak, 31, has been a solid worker for such teams as CSC, High Road and now Lotto. André Greipel asked Lotto brass to pick him up so he could work for him in the sprints.

“I think I have 10 pro wins, and all of them have come when I have attacked in the final two or three kilometers,” the tall Dane said. “I always believed I could win a big race. I have been close before in the Vuelta and the Giro. Today is a dream come true.”

Bak overcame a broken hand earlier this season, which derailed his spring classics campaign. Now he’s hoping to earn a ticket to the Tour, where he wants to help Greipel take on Cavendish.

“André already beat Cav last year,” Bak said. “I hope to be selected for the Tour. We will have a great team, with André in the sprints and Jurgen (Van den Broeck) for the GC. This team has believed in me. I am so happy to give them something back.”

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