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Cycling | 21 augustus 2017

Kruijswijk moves up in general classification, but loses time

The third stage of the Vuelta has caused a battle. In the race to Andorra, Team LottoNL-Jumbo’s leader Steven Kruijswijk lost 1'14” to stage winner Vincenzo Nibali. Kruijswijk's time loss means that the difference between him and the leader in the GC, Christopher Froome, has increased to almost two minutes.

At the end of the stage it became clear that Kruijswijk was not completely fit as he is suffering from a cold. "I got it just before the start of the Vuelta. I had hoped it would have been over by Saturday", he said. “Suffering from a cold does not help in stages like today's. I felt that I would not be able to cross the top amidst the favourites today. I raced up as fast as possible, along with Wilco Kelderman." Kruijswijk refused to say that his GC-ambitions are completely botched. "This cold must disappear. Then the right shape will return. It’s annoying, but stages like today's prove that there is a lot of potential in this Vuelta. I'll keep trying."

Sports director Grischa Niermann admitted that today's result is not what the team had counted on: "The conclusion is that Kruijswijk is not participating among the favourites. We have to accept that. Today was very tough; several riders couldn't keep up with the favourites. It is up to our sports directors to keep the team alert and motivated; we'll take it from day to day. The Vuelta lasts three more weeks and we will definitely show something good."