"It pleases me of course to win another race after four years. This morning we already had a long transfer and we suspected that Europcar had a plan. There was a fast start and before we knew we escaped with 16. We worked very well together, but there were a lot of fast guys in the group, so we didn't have to wait for a sprint."
"I already had tried to ride away once, but had been caught again, and then Gaëtan could get away with three others. At five kilometers from the end I thought they could stay away, but Cofidis closed the gap. At the penultimate tough part I jumped again and no one could catch me. The last few days I had ridden a lot on the head of the peloton, but I feel I'm getting better and better. The next days we will try to get Gaëtan in the right escape, but if the bunch is still together in the end, there might be a sprint from Vicente Reynes or Fréderique Robert."And here you can find Songezo Jim's amazing story:
A life: ..."having never even touched a bike at 14, this South African will live his dream when he settles down in Lucca, Italy for his first European professional season in 2013.
Jim was born in Umtata in the Eastern Cape of South Africa in 1990, but at the age of 12, his family suffered its first tragic loss with the death of his mother. Two years later, his father passed away as well, leaving the orphan with no choice but to travel 1000km to live with his aunt. Professional cycling, or cycling of any manner, was not on the radar for Jim."
A dream: "When I saw the cycling, and I had never seen anything like it," Jim said. He instantly fell in love with the sport and wanted to jump right in and race. The problem was, he'd never ridden a bike. I immediately wanted to compete. Even at the time when I wasn't able to ride a bike, I wanted to compete. I loved it."
Crashes: "At home, when I first started riding I crashed and they said I had to stop cycling. Because we have responsibilities at home to cook and clean, and when you crash you can't do that, you have to stop cycling because it doesn't give you anything. I had to sneak around and go train and come back and pretend I never went training. They tried to stop me and I didn't want to stop, so eventually they gave up and let me."
Victories: His first win came at 17 in a junior race [..] At home they actually started supporting me after I won, when they actually got to see I'm taking this seriously. Even though they didn't know the cycling in detail, they supported me."
Belgium: "Belgium is very good - it's good to go first and do the kermesses - because of the speed of the peloton, and the roads are so small. The bunches in South Africa are not so big and the distances are not so long as in Europe. The racing is so crazy there, and you get to learn a lot. The racing is so technical, you can learn how to corner, how to position yourself."
Commitment: "Then I knew what I wanted in life. I got to know exactly that I want to be a professional cyclist. From there I came here because I started winning a few races and got confidence in myself. [...] Now they are very proud of me, they can see that I am doing what I really want. [...]...always be positive. Things happen that you have no influence over and you have to accept that you can't change the situation. There is no use feeling sorry for yourself; instead you have to realise that no matter what circumstances, we all have potential and we have to use the talents God gave us."