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"I hope to finish the Vuelta to have a good base level for 2017. I had a difficult time after the crash in Suisse."

Photo: Sirotti

ADDY ENGELS

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ROBERT GESINK

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TEAM JUMBO-VISMA

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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29.08.2016 @ 10:31 Posted by Renaud Breban

Robert Gesink is not in his best shape in the Vuelta a Espana and has told Cyclingnews that he is just happy to racing. The Dutch rider crashed in the Tour de Suisse and the accident destroyed his second part of the season.

 

"I'm just happy to be racing, I hope to finish the Vuelta to have a good base level for 2017. I had a difficult time after the crash in Suisse. Concussion really takes a lot of energy out of you, and I couldn't train for a long time, and I was tired a lot of the time", he told during the first week of racing.

 

The LottoNL-Jumbo leader crashed out on stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse with  a severe contusion. After a long recovery, he was again on the bike at the start of the Tour de l'Ain.

 

"Before this, I trained for three days in a row and that was the longest I could do. So I did one race [the Tour de L'Ain, finishing 21st overall - Ed.] for four days in August, and now I'm here in the Vuelta. I'm pretty happy that I'm still recovering. Because that was the issue before - I just couldn't recover from normal training."

 

Sports director Addy Engels is still confident in his leader. He hopes that his rider will able to finish the three-week race to focus on the 2017 season. "

 

For Robert it's difficult, because he's a great rider and not used to approach a race like this but the main goal is to finish this Vuelta and to go home with a better shape than he started. And that's it. Beyond that, he wanted to race for Steven. That goal is gone, so we hope he keeps improving and has a good level in the last week to go for a break. But we are being careful. The level is so high in this race, he has to improve quite a bit to be able to do that fight, and if he can it would be fantastic", he told. "If he can finish the Vuelta, go home in pretty good shape, and also finish the season in a good way, then the focus moves to next year. And if you consider the length of his recovery, that in itself would be a success."

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