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“I felt good, but because I had been quite active, I wasn’t as fresh in the final kilometres. I attacked a few times in the end myself, but they didn’t let me go. Later on, some others got some space and stayed clear.&rdqu...

Photo: LottoNL-Jumbo






14.08.2015 @ 22:09 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Steven Kruijswijk finished eighth today in the third stage of the Tour de l'Ain. The Dutchman crossed the line nine seconds behind stage-winner Alexandre Geniez of FDJ. The Frenchman is the new overall leader, with Kruijswijk now fifth, at 28 seconds.    


“There was very little control today,” said Kruijswijk. “That’s something you see more often in French stage races on a lower level and in races where you may only ride with six riders. There was never a clear situation. Because the course was quite difficult, I needed to be in the front all the time and try to the answer as the attacks as I could.


“I felt good, but because I had been quite active, I wasn’t as fresh in the final kilometres. I attacked a few times in the end myself, but they didn’t let me go. Later on, some others got some space and stayed clear.”    


Erik Dekker watched the “terribly tough race” from out of the team car.


“But the guys have done very well. The stage was beautiful and the commitment was strong.”     


The peloton consisted of only 40 men after the first climb. “We were there with four, fighting in the front half of the pack,” Dekker recounted.    


“Nick van der Lijke was struggling at that time, but eventually he came back, and finished 16th. On the second climb, the big guys attacked but Twan Castelijns was able to follow. Mike Teunissen was too excited, too early, and exploded. So today was a valuable lesson for him. Timo Roosen rode strong, only Barry Markus abandoned along the way.”    


Kruijswijk is noticing that after racing both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, he’s not 100 per-cent fit anymore. Yet he remains ambitious.    


“I’m not in the best shape, but in this field of competitors, I should still have something extra after the Tour. I should have a shot at success. Tomorrow I’ll focus on winning the stage again. We have to tackle a lot of altitude, but I plan to save more energy for the final kilometres than today.”



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