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Cycling | 19 januari 2017

Gesink 10th in GC after chaotic final

Robert Gesink jumped to 10th in the Tour Down Under’s general classification after the third stage to Victor Harbor ended in a bunch sprint. Again, home cyclist Caleb Ewan (Orica) was the fastest sprinter in the Australian stage race.

 

Due a couple of fractures in the peloton in the final kilometres, team LottoNL-Jumbo’s Robert Gesink moved ahead one place in the overall. Richie Porte (BMC) remains the leader by 29 seconds on Gesink.

 

NEW "During the first two stages, I didn’t feel really well, but today it went much better,” said Gesink’s young helper, Koen Bouwman.

 

“The final was indeed chaotic, a crash and the constrictions caused a lot of stress in the peloton. When it finally was stretched out in a long line, there were still a number of gaps in the peloton. "

 

The 144-kilometre stage started in Glenelg and as saw four men break free early on. The peloton controlled the move and in the city circuits, the sprint teams pulled the leaders in. A crash and a number of bends in the final produced a chaotic final and split the group. Gesink had good support and was in the front group along with Robert Wagner.

 

"I bring my team-mates food and drinks and occasionally, shelter them from the wind and put them near the front,” Bouwman said of his work. “After that, my ride is relatively quiet to the finish."

 

‘We succeeded’

 

Sports Director Addy Engels praised the team’s ability to work together in the chaotic end of the stage. He called it a “success.”

 

"The final was especially very dangerous, so as a team we focused on it,” Engels said. “Koen Bouwman had come several times to the car to collect bottles and the rest of the team had to do everything to support Robert well.

 

"We succeeded because Robert ahead when the peloton split and gained one place in the GC."

 

The team faces a 149.5-kilometre rolling stage tomorrow to Campbelltown.