Cycling | 5 maart 2017

Kruijswijk loses time in Paris-Nice day one

Steven Kruijswijk crashed in the first stage of Paris-Nice and lost precious time to his rivals. The windy stage to Bois-d'Arcy was won by Arnaud Démare, who edged out Julian Alaphilippe in a two-up sprint.


Team LottoNL-Jumbo “completely missed the battle.” Kruijswijk and Bram Tankink rode in the second group with favourites such as Alberto Contador and Richie Porte. At 23 kilometres from the finish, Kruijswijk fell with Romain Bardet. Kruijswijk fought his way back in the second group, which was better than Bardet, who was disqualified today.


"Today we experienced a sad day," said Verhoeven. "The peloton was shattered into pieces and you’d expect that some of your men will be at the front, but that was not the case. Only Steven and Bram were in the second group, which was not good."


Also Steven Kruijswijk saw it happen, but couldn’t adjust the team’s course.


"I fell and returned to the group with great difficulty. I noticed that I was empty," Kruijswijk said after the finish. "I never recovered from the effort and when Katusha pushed me to the limit at five kilometres from the finish, I had to let it go. I was completely empty. It was not easy today, but we should look at ourselves. We were not on track and we missed out the battle completely."


Tomorrow, Team LottoNL-Jumbo continues in the Paris-Nice with a different focus.


“First, we are going to talk this evening. We have to find the right direction again," Verhoeven added. "We will go for stage victories with Kruijswijk and Dylan Groenewegen.”