Cycling | 19 juli 2018

Combativity prize for Kruijswijk; Groenewegen leaves Tour

A more than courageous attack by Steven Kruijswijk in the twelfth stage of the Tour de France has not been rewarded with the stage victory. The leader of Team LottoNL-Jumbo attacked early in the stage to Alpe d’Huez and for a long time it seemed he was on his way to a heroic victory on ‘the Dutch mountain’. Eventually, Kruijswijk finished tenth at 53 seconds from stage winner Geraint Thomas. Unfortunately, two-times stage winner Dylan Groenewegen abandoned the stage with a knee injury that had affected him since his crash in the Roubaix stage.

From the start, the stage with the Col de la Madeleine, the Croix de Fer and Alpe d’Huez was a true battle. On the Madeleine, a large breakaway got established which included Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s Robert Gesink and Steven Kruijswijk. Kruijswijk started his impressive solo on the Croix de Fer. The Dutchman started the ascent of the Alp with a four minute lead. Kruijswijk was ultimately caught in the last three kilometres, but the brave attacker was rewarded with the prize of most combative cyclist of the day. In the overall standings, Kruijswijk relinquished two places. He is now eighth, while Primoz Roglic kept his fifth place in the ranking.

“It was worth a try”, Kruijswijk said, who was in front alone for over seventy kilometres. “It went very well today. Only the last bit was too much. I was riding alone for a long time and the valley towards Alpe d’Huez cost me a lot of power. I knew this when I started my attempt, but I still had less power remaining than I had hoped. It’s a little disappointing that I didn’t win, but it was a beautiful day. Fortunately, I didn’t lose a lot of time and I’m happy that I’m still in a good position in the overall ranking. It was a tricky effort, but I really like to race like this. I’d rather keep attacking and lose than not trying at all in three weeks racing. I gambled and lost, but I’ll definitely try again. Now it’s time to recover from this and then we’ll see what we can do next.”


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