Cycling | 18 april 2018
Flèche Wallonne offers little to go on for Team LottoNL-Jumbo
Team LottoNL-Jumbo hasn’t been able to ride in front in the Flèche Wallonne. During the final, Floris De Tier and Robert Gesink were present in the thinned peloton, but on the penultimate climb, De Tier had to let go of the group and Gesink had to give in on the last ascent of the Wall of Huy. The Dutchman came across the finish line in twentieth position, which made him the best-ranked rider of Team LottoNL-Jumbo.
After his sixteenth place in the Amstel Gold Race, De Tier had hoped for more, but said that he wasn’t as strong as last Sunday. “The race was especially tough in the last laps. Little was left of the peloton. The heat also played a part in this. I reached my limit on the penultimate climb. Until that moment I had good legs, but then I had to give in.”
The hot conditions were also mentioned by sports director Nico Verhoeven. “That made this race a special edition. It was difficult in any case because the riders arrived in the Ardennes early in the race. The fact that the final already began at sixty kilometres from the finish line, only made it heavier.”
According to the sports director, his riders were not in a position to fight for a top ranking today. “For a long time, Robert and Floris were in the group behind the leaders, but in the end they couldn’t keep up the pace. You can’t expect this group of riders to get a podium during a classic. Gesink and Kruijswijk are grand tour riders. Their result of today doesn’t say anything about their current form.”