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“Steven is really disappointed, but we have to move on. We will continue to fight for the overall. We’ll see how far we’ll get. We know that Steven is always one of the better riders in the final week. It’s our chall...

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team








12.05.2015 @ 20:57 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The riders turned the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia into a combat zone on Tuesday. The favourites hunted each other down in the 150-kilometre stage from Chiavari to La Spezia. Team LottoNL-Jumbo leader Steven Kruijswijk was one of the victims. Martijn Keizer was in a long breakaway.
Kruijswijk finished eight minutes and 27 seconds behind winner Davide Formolo. The Italian Cannondale-Garmin rider was the only one able to withstand the favourites’ moves.

Simon Clarke of Orica-Green Edge led the chase group and took over the maglia rosa from his team-mate Michael Matthews. Despite losing time, Kruijswijk moved up to 36th overall, at 8’51”.

“Steven is really disappointed, but we have to move on,” Sports Director Jan Boven said. "We will continue to fight for the overall. We’ll see how far we’ll get. We know that Steven is always one of the better riders in the final week. It’s our challenge to finish in the top ten.”

Boven saw things go south just before the feed zone. “A number of teams that were not represented in the break went full gas. A few places ahead of Steven, the peloton split. Steven managed to re-connect, but just when he did, Astana took the front. After that, it was a 55-kilometre battle to the line. Martijn waited for Steven and dragged him to the last climb, but the gap was already too big.”

Keizer was part of a larger lead group that at one moment had a 10-minute gap. With 80 kilometres to go, he collided with a young fan. Eventually, he slotted in 57th, at 13’15”.

“I hope the boy is OK,” Keizer said. “It happened in a clumsy way. A rider attacked but when he saw that I was in his wheel, he steered to the side, and that was when the little boy and I collided.”

Keizer was not planning to attack on Tuesday.


“I wanted to stay with Steven, but when a big group took off, I decided to go along. It’s always good to have someone in the break.

“I felt that we were riding for the victory, although I knew I needed luck to win. There were quite a few strong climbers with us. In the final kilometres, I still was able to help Steven, although I wasn’t fully fit anymore because of my crash.”

Robert Wagner finished outside the time limit on Tuesday.


“No crash and no illness, my weight is fine and I had a good preparation, but I just don’t have any power in my legs. I have no explanation”, he said.

“Robert was already struggling yesterday and today again,” Boven said. “Soon he was all by himself. Losing him is a disappointment, he’s important for Moreno Hofland in the sprints.”

The peloton faces the first summit finish of the race on Wednesday. Despite the hard racing and time differences, Boven is counting on a fight between the GC riders to Abetone. 

“I think that the favourites will want to fight for victory as it’s the first uphill finish.”



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