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"I hope to be a bit stronger and I hope I can do good work for someone like Rigoberto Uran in the Giro. Also for the classics, I hope to reach top 5 or maybe even win a race. The dreams are for free, right?" Serry says

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12.11.2013 @ 18:15 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Pieter Serry to a big step in his development as a bike rider when he rode his first season at the ProTeam level with Omega Pharma-Quick Step team in 2013. With a grand tour and a top 10 finish in Il Lombardia under his belt, the Belgian is hoping to get more classics success and is looking forward to supporting Rigoberto Uran in the Giro d'Italia in 2014.

 

Having long been described as talented climber and a rider for the Ardennes classics, Pieter Serry got his chance at Omega Pharma-Quick Step team in 2013. His first taste of WorldTour racing was a successful one, with the young Belgian ending his season on a high with a top 10 finish in Il Lombardia, one of cycling's five monuments.

 

It was his great results with the Topsport Vlaanderen team in 2011 and 2012 that marked him out as a climber for the future. In his final year with the Belgian team, he finished on the podium in the Ardennes warm-up races Brabantse Pijl, 4th in the Volta Limburg Classic, 6th in the Tour of Norway and was the best young rider in the Tour of Belgium. Those results were enough to convince Omega Pharma-Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevre to sign the Belgian for the 2013 season.

 

As it is the case for most riders who join a major team, the first season was all about stepping a bit into the background and learning from his more experienced teammates. Serry dutifully did his jobs while also getting his first taste of WorldTour racing. He still managed to finish 11th in the mountainous Tour de l'Ain and had the chance to ride for GC in his first grand tour, the Vuelta a Espana. However, he gave up on those ambitions early in the race and finished a modest 50th.

 

His greatest results came in the hilly autumn classics where he proved that he is a rider for the hardest one-day races. An 8th place finish in the Clasica San Sebastian was followed by a breakthrough 7th in Il Lombardia where he both proved his abilities as a climber and his fast finish.

 

With a year under his belt, Serry has learnt a lot from his debut on the biggest scene.

 

"For me it was a dream come true," he said in an interview published on his team's website. "To ride for the biggest team in cycling, and even to ride with my idols such as Tom Boonen and Mark Cavendish, is amazing. I learned so much from them and I still do.

 

"For instance with the Vuelta, it was my first grand tour and also my first team time trial," he added. "I was so nervous and Tony Martin gave me some good advice on how I had to handle it, like being  patient and not going at full speed immediately, things like that. I was really proud that I could hold on with them and finish in 3rd! It gave me confidence as well. For me this was the most beautiful moment of the year.

"In the beginning it was a real adjustment for me, because before I was used to riding only for myself. Now I had to ride for a whole team, together with the team, for my leader. This was a very good experience!"

 

Having shown his potential in the hard one-day races, it is no surprise that Serry will target classics success in 2014. However, he also hopes to ride his second grand tour and get the chance to work for a real leader in one of the three-week races.

 

"I hope to be a bit stronger and I hope I can do good work for someone like Rigoberto Uran in the Giro," he said. "Also for the classics, I hope to reach top 5 or maybe even win a race. The dreams are for free, right?"

 

Serry's announcement comes in the same week when both Uran and Thomas De Gendt spoke about their intentions of making the Italian grand tour their major target in 2014. At the same time, Lefevre revealed that Cavendish would forgo the Giro and so Omega Pharma-Quick Step may find itself in the rare situation that it lines up a team that is going fully for the GC.

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