LottoNL-Jumbo’s Robert Gesink finished eighth overall in Australia’s Tour Down Under today in Adelaide. Richie Porte (BMC) took home the general classification trophy 1-02 minutes ahead of Gesink.
"It was a good performance in a strong field,” Gesink said. “I’m satisfied with eighth place in such a tough race. Everyday it was a big fight for position, and that went well every time."
Caleb Ewan (Orica) again dominated the sprint, winning the closing circuit stage in Adelaide. The organiser ran the stage 20 times over a 4.5-kilometre circuit. An escape broke free, with Jack Bauer (Quick Step) staying away deep into the final.
The peloton revved up behind and caught Bauer. Ewan took the honours ahead of Peter Sagan (Bora) and Marko Kump (UAE Abu Dhabi). Gesink raced attentively and finished 21st.
"I've worked hard this winter, and this top 10 is proof of that. It's nice to start the season with a top 10,” Gesink added. “Now, I’m just going to enjoy a rest and Cadel Evans Road Race. I’ll return to Europe afterwards to build on for the rest of the season.”
The one-day Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race is at the end of the month, January 29. LottoNL-Jumbo races there before flying back to Europe.
Satisfied sports director
The final stage was not just parade through the streets of Adelaide. The cyclists needed full concentration for the “nervous” day.
“It was a nervous race with much fighting for a good sprint position, but also to secure Gesink GC spot,” said Sports Director Addy Engels. “We wanted him to hold his place, but look for any gap to move up in the overall classification.
“We started the season well. Winning in this race was simply not possible. The proof is that only two teams won all seven stages, BMC and Orica. However, the cooperation in the team is good and together we built a good result with a good Gesink.”