Cycling | 21 januari 2018
Gesink celebrates comeback with top ten classification in Tour Down Under
Six months after his heavy crash in the Tour de France, Robert Gesink conquered the tenth place in the general classification during the Tour Down Under. Through the streets of Adelaide, the 31-year-old Dutchman finished 23rd in the last stage. That was three spots behind George Bennett, who finished eleventh in the general classification.
Gesink and Bennett started the sixth stage as eighth and ninth, respectively, in the general classification. Because of the bonus seconds being distributed, they were ultimately passed by two men.
Gesink looked back on his comeback with a good feeling. "I am happy with the tenth place in the general classification. My back has kept up with the efforts and my body felt good too. It is a pity that the bonus seconds caused George and I to drop two places. Now, we will focus focus on the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. "
Bennett also made his comeback in the peloton, after having been operated on his stomach in December. "I did not expect to be defending a top ten ranking during the Tour Down Under", he said. "It was a little short, but I had a great time here. The massive crowd made it extra special. "
Sports director Frans Maassen said he had had a nice race week. "The extremely high temperatures did not make it easy for the boys, but their stamina is good. In the fourth and fifth stage we aimed for the podium, but we just missed it. It is unfortunate that we lost two places in the general classification in the last stage, but we can continue to build on this."