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Cycling | 11 augustus 2017

Kruijswijk fifth in mountain stage Tour de l'Ain

Steven Kruijswijk became fifth in the third stage of the Tour de l'Ain. It was the third time in four days that a rider from Team LottoNL-Jumbo finished fifth. The stage was won by David Gaudu, his team mate Thibaut Pinot is the new leader in the general classification.

For Kruijswijk, the third stage - which included four climbs - was a first test towards the Vuelta. "It went fine for a short but difficult ride", the 30-year-old rider from the Dutch province of Brabant said. "I couldn’t keep up with the two in front of me yet. But it was a good way to test my current shape. I have not participated in any races since the Tour of Switzerland. That means I lack some competition practice. My ability to accelerate and to break away still have to increase somewhat. Tomorrow is the last ride of the Tour de l'Ain, with the Col du Grand Colombier. It's unpredictable, but if I feel good I'm not going to hold myself back."

Sports director Frans Maassen thought it was wise that Kruijswijk did not take risks in today's last decent. "The two escapees were too far away, so it was too dangerous. Today was mainly about Kruijswijk’s form test anyway. Tomorrow is another good test with the last heavy ride and I expect to see a good course", said Maassen.