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"It was my maximum effort. I have to be happy with that. I felt better than yesterday, so that's a good thing," Gesink says

Photo: Sirotti










07.09.2014 @ 20:27 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

For the second day in a row, Robert Gesink lost time in a Vuelta a Espana stage. Having had a bad day yesterday, he was pleased to have had better feelings but couldn't avoid dropping one spot in the overall standings.


Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM's Robert Gesink defended his top-10 position in another grueling mountain stage in the Vuelta a España under rain Sunday.

Gesink crossed the line 11th behind stage-winner Przemslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida), and slotted into ninth overall at 5:11 behind race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

"It was my maximum effort. I have to be happy with that. I felt better than yesterday, so that's a good thing," Gesink said. "It was tough, but it was a good race. The descent off the first climb was really, really slippery, and we went like 5kmh. That wasn't really fun, but in the end, it dried up. Tomorrow will be brutal. It will be 5,000 metres of climbing. Now I need rest and a hot shower."

Belkin's Wilco Kelderman rode to 21st in the historic climb up Lagos de Covadonga in Spain's spectacular Picos de Europa, moving into 15th overall at 9:08 back.

"Wilco was really suffering on the last climb. He's not coming to his best form, and I think we must remember that he is young, and he already did one grand tour this year. That's also something to keep in mind," said Belkin Sports Director Merijn Zeeman. "It was very hard today. It took 50km before the break went, on a hard parcours. Then the second climb was hard, with a lot rain, and the descent was very tricky. That takes a lot of energy. Today was another uphill finish, and tomorrow again in the mountains. That's a grand tour, and we have to cope with that, and do as good as possible."

The 69th Vuelta continues Monday with the third consecutive mountaintop finale, with a five-climb stage ending at Lagos de Somiedo. More rain is in the forecast. 

"It's a lot of climbs again, another uphill finish, another explosive final. I think Robert shows he is ready for it, so we are hoping he can move up in the GC," Zeeman said.

"Tomorrow is going to be hard," said Belkin's Maarten Tjallingii. "Today and yesterday, I saw already the group in the back is really big. I hope we get together tomorrow, and get over the hills."



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