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"Even with the Giro d'Italia and six days of the Dauphiné in my legs, I'm still in a great shape. But I know that tomorrow's climbs will be much harder than what we've experienced since the beginning of this week...

Photo: Sirotti








13.06.2014 @ 17:01 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With a hard Giro and six days of racing at the Criterium du Dauphiné in his legs, Wilco Kelderman could be forgiven for showing signs of fatigue but nothing suggests that his form is declining. The Dutchman claims to still have great legs after getting safely through a stage in which his teammate Bram Tankink was an unexpected protagonist.


Belkin Pro Cycling TEAM’s Bram Tankink unexpectedly was part of the breakaway in stage six of the Critérium du Dauphiné today, but couldn’t prevent a trio of riders from breaking free in the final kilometres for the win. Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) won 168 kilometre stage from Grenoble to Poisy and Tankink placed eighth. 

“After my crash yesterday, I wasn’t really interested in getting in the break, but suddenly, I was in the front with three men. Not long after some more riders joined. It’s funny that on the one day you don’t really want to be in the break, you succeed in getting in there,” said Tankink. 

“In the final, I didn’t have the legs to bridge to the attackers. They took off on a moment when I wasn’t expecting an attack. If I could have joined them, I still don’t think I could’ve won. Bakelants and Lieuwe Westra were very strong. I have to be honest about that." 


Wilco Kelderman finished safe and sound in the peloton and retained third place in the general classification. 

“Today our focus was mainly on Wilco,” said Sports Director Erik Dekker. “We couldn’t let everyone try to get in the breakaway, as we had several injured riders after yesterday’s crashes. If all our riders were going to attack, we would have no one left to assist Wilco. 

“Bram managed to get in a large group thanks to some luck. He was one of the guys involved in a spill yesterday. It was good to see that it doesn’t bother him too much anymore.” 


Just like tonight in the World Cup in Brazil, we’ll see a battle between Spain and The Netherlands tomorrow in the Dauphiné. Kelderman will need to fight Alberto Contador in the high-mountain stage with a summit finish. The two are tied for second, twelve seconds behind maillot jaune Chris Froome. 

“Wilco will give his all tomorrow,” said Dekker. “It’s going to be a very heavy stage. It won’t be a very tactical fight. The strongest rider will be in yellow tomorrow, it’s as simple as that. The battle for the stage could be another fight than the one for the GC, but supporting Wilco has our priority.” 

Kelderman is full of confidence.


“I expect a tough day tomorrow, the climbs are steeper than in the first weekend, but my legs are still good.


“The start of the race has been very fast. But once the move has been formed and we had Bram Tankink at the front, it has become quieter in the peloton. Of course it was speeding up at the end but even on that rhythm, I felt that I had good legs. My team-mates looked after me really well. They kept me in the first positions of the peloton.


"Even with the Giro d'Italia and six days of the Dauphiné in my legs, I'm still in a great shape. But I know that tomorrow's climbs will be much harder than what we've experienced since the beginning of this week. My goal will be to follow Contador and Froome. It would be great.”



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