Cycling | 15 september 2018

Kruijswijk heads to Madrid as fourth in the Vuelta

Steven Kruijswijk could not hold third overall in the overall standings of the Vuelta a España, instead slipping one down to fourth overall behind leader Simon Yates.

Team LottoNL-Jumbo's leader finished seventh in stage 20 and tipped his hat to stage winner Enrique Mas and Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez. The two moved to second and third overall in the day. 

The 31-year-old Dutchman dropped from third to fourth place. He faces a flat final stage in Madrid on Sunday.

"This is a real pity," said Kruijswijk, who finished fifth in the Tour de France a month and a half ago. 

"I gave everything and fought until the end, but there were a few guys stronger today. I didn’t have much left so this was all I could do. I did try to join them when they attacked on the penultimate climb, but I was not able to make the jump. 

"You have to be realistic and honest, and conclude that I was not good enough today.

"It is a pity that I finish just outside the final podium in the Vuelta. I know many riders haven't taken fifth in the Tour de France and fourth in the Vuelta in the same year, but I would have liked to have traded that for a podium in a grand tour.

"We can't blame ourselves too much. For three weeks, we worked very hard day in, day out doing what we had to do. Then we have to be satisfied with it."